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How is Air Conditioner Cooling Capacity Used to Match Your Home with the Right Cooling System?

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If you’ve ever looked into installing a new cooling system in your home, you’ve probably heard the term “cooling capacity” used to describe different units. So what is air conditioner cooling capacity and how can you use it to find the perfect unit for your home?

What does air conditioner cooling capacity mean?

The cooling capacity of an air conditioner describes how powerful the unit is. If you were to compare an air conditioner to a car, cooling capacity would be akin to a unit’s “horse power.”

Cooling capacity is measured in British thermal units (Btu’s) or (more commonly) tons, where one ton is equal to 12,000 Btu’s. Most air conditioners that you’ll find in St. Louis area homes have a cooling capacity of between 1 and 5 tons.

Choosing the right air conditioner cooling capacity

It’s extremely important to have an air conditioner with a cooling capacity that matches the specifications of your home. If your unit doesn’t have enough cooling capacity, it won’t have the power to adequately cool your home. If your unit has too much cooling capacity, it will create large temperature swings in your home and won’t adequately dehumidify your air. Either case will also lead to inefficiencies and wasted energy.

Factors that affect the required cooling capacity for your home

As a general rule of thumb, a home requires 1 ton of cooling for every 1,000 square feet. However, there are many other factors that affect the actual cooling capacity needed for your home. They include:

If you have any questions about air conditioner cooling capacity, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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