What Size AC Unit Do I Need for My Home?

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What Size AC Do I Need for My House?

Whether you’re replacing an old air conditioner or installing one in a new space, picking the right system can be a challenge. Choosing the appropriate size air conditioner for your home in Austin will save you on energy costs, extend the life of your system, and make less noise in the house.

Why Choosing the Right AC Size Matters

A system that is too small for your space will wear itself out quickly by running constantly to keep the room at a certain temperature. On the other hand, a system that is too large will reach the temperature quickly and kick-off, only to kick on moments later to maintain the temperature. The continual switching on and off can wear out the system’s starter switch and will require repair sooner rather than later.

Things to Consider When Choosing a New AC Unit

Size is important, but there are multiple factors to consider to make sure your new AC unit is compatible with your home and lifestyle. Here’s what to look for.

  • AC type. Does your home already have ductwork? This may influence whether you choose a ductless mini-split or ducted system.
  • Space. Calculate the square footage of space you need your air conditioner to cool. You can find this by multiplying the room’s length by width. Include rooms that connect without doors since the AC will also cool these spaces.
  • BTU/h. An AC’s cooling capacity is often shown as an abbreviation of British Thermal Units per hour. BTU/h expresses how much space an AC can cool by calculating how many units of heat the air conditioner can remove within an hour. For instance, a living room between 350 to 550 square feet would need 9,800 to 12,500 BTUs per hour to cool.
  • SEER rating. An AC’s SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating is the unit’s BTU/h output divided by the energy used. An AC that can cool the same amount of space within an hour with less energy receives a higher SEER rating and is considered more energy efficient for your home. A SEER rating between 15 and 18 would give you the best value for your money.

Related Content: What Is Air Balancing in HVAC And How Do You Do It?

What Size Central AC Do I Need?

After calculating your home’s size and understanding the capacity and efficiency ratings of air conditioners, you can assess what system would work best for your home. Start by calculating 20 BTUs of cooling for every square foot. After that, you can adjust for any additional heat your AC would have to deal with.

What Size Breaker Works Best for an AC Unit?

To find the correct breaker size for your air conditioner, note the minimum ampacity and maximum breaker size in the AC’s manual or on its nameplate. You can find the correct breaker size and wire size to pair with your air conditioner from these numbers.

Expert AC Installation in Austin, TX

Let your home be a haven from the heat of Texas summers, with an AC that’s sized perfectly to your space. What size AC is best for my house, you ask? If you’d like help crunching any of the numbers, our AC specialists at Daniel’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning® are experts in the field and can help you choose and install an AC that fits your needs. Call (512) 456-3570 or request service online to get started.