What Size of Air Conditioner Do I Need?

The temperature outside is up and you’d like to keep things cool inside without going overboard. Choosing the right-sized air conditioner unit is important. Understanding your cooling needs, and the best-sized AC for your space, will help you efficiently cool your home and reduce humidity levels while keeping maintenance and utility costs in check.

With over six decades in business, we are here 24/7 to help you with your heating and cooling needs, including helping you determine the best cooling system for your home. Many factors such as square footage, window sizes, insulation and layout of your home help us determine the best solutions for your unique space.

We know that selecting the best air conditioner for your space can save you effort, comfort, and money in the long run, and we find that helping our customers understand the basics of air conditioner sizing can be beneficial to that process.

Getting Started

The first step in determining the ideal air conditioner size for your home is to complete a manual load calculation. The manual load calculation takes into account many variables such as your homes square footage, window size, window location, insulation, and more in order to determine the correct amount of BTU needed to properly condition your home.

BTU, or British Thermal Units, speaks to not the size of the unit itself, but the air conditioners capacity to cool your home.

For a quick, simplified calculation to help determine ideal cooling, simply take your square footage and multiply that number by twenty.  For example, if your home is 1000 ft2, multiply that number by twenty and 20,000 BTU would be (roughly) the cooling capacity you’d need.

Size Matters

It’s vital that the correct size BTU output is selected for your home. If too small a unit is chosen, your air conditioner will constantly run, which will lead to an endless cycle of it playing catch-up with itself, and increased utility bills for you.

However, it’s important that you not go overboard when selecting a cooling system for your home. While many are tempted to choose a stronger a unit that boasts the high BTU potentiality, this is a common mistake. Air conditioners do more than just cool your home; they reduce humidity in the air. If you choose a unit with a larger cooling capacity than is recommended, the AC will often cool the space too quickly without having time to sufficiently reduce humidity levels. High humidity levels are not only uncomfortable, but can cause potential damage through molds and mildews within the home.

By understanding the ‘size’ air conditioner you need, you’re better prepared to select a system that will meet your cooling needs. 

We’re Here to Help You

Since 1957, Owens has served the Twin Cities with HVAC services in both residential and commercial spaces. Regardless of the size, we can help you find the best cooling solutions for your specific needs. Contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.