Air conditioners come in many sizes, but there is only one that’s right for your home. Although it’s a Comfort Consultant’s job to do the actual calculations, it’s important for St. Louis area homeowners to know how to size an air conditioner so that they can ensure they are working with a trusted contractor.
An improperly sized air conditioner can be a huge pain for homeowners. If your air conditioner is too large, it will turn on and off frequently and lead to higher energy bills and a reduction in your unit’s dehumidifying capabilities. If your air conditioner is too small, it will run too often in order to make up for its lack of size, which is also inefficient and can make it hard to adequately cool your home during the hottest days of the year.
How to size an air conditioner
There are a number of things that a contractor takes into account when sizing your air conditioner. Some of the most crucial factors include:
- Windows. The square footage and location of your windows have a direct effect on the amount of sunlight that’s allowed into your home. Your contractor will note the size of your windows, the style of your windows (double or single pane), the shading received from outside and which side of your home each window faces.
- Age of home. In general, older homes are less capable of keeping hot and cold air from entering and escaping your home. The older your home, the bigger an air conditioner you’ll need.
- Square footage. For obvious reasons, the square footage of your home needs to be taken into account when sizing an air conditioner. The larger your home, the bigger an air conditioner you’ll need.
- Insulation and sealing. Your contractor will need to know how well your home is insulated and sealed in order to judge how well it can keep cool air in and warm air out during the summer. A well-insulated home can use a smaller air conditioner, and vice versa for a not-so-well insulated home.
- Ducts. On a similar note, the insulation, sealing and location of your ducts is also important when determining the size of your air conditioner, because that all has a direct effect on how well cool air can be distributed throughout your home.
If you have any questions about how to size an air conditioner, or if you’d like a cooling system installed or repaired in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.