At first thought, it may seem like you cannot go overboard with air conditioning. After all, the whole point of having an AC is to control the air temperature in your home and you can hardly have too much control now, can you? Well as it turns out, if you figure in the cost of installation and running the unit, there are situations where your AC is oversized for your home. To answer the question "How much AC do I need?" you need to factor in various aspects and understand the airflow in your home. So, to help you out, we will cover these aspects and help you determine the right amount of air conditioning for your household.
Understanding How Air Conditioners Work
For measuring the effectiveness of air conditioning, we use BTUs. A British Thermal Unit is a measurement that shows how much heat an AC unit can remove from the airspace within one hour. The recommended BTU per square foot is 20. With that in mind, there are a couple more factors to consider…
To properly cool a room, you must consider its size and purpose. Take the square footage of the room and multiply it by 20. That is the recommended BTU for your AC. Before you opt for a unit, remember that it is usually better to go a bit above your recommended BTU than below. This is especially true if your room gets a lot of natural light or if it’s a common gathering area for your family. Kitchens and laundry rooms will also require stronger air conditioning, as the appliances in them will produce heat on their own.
If you plan on cooling the entire home with a single AC unit, you will have to consider the layout of your home. The more freely air can flow through your home, the easier it will be to cool it off. Just like with rooms, you can choose to multiply the size of your house by 20 to understand the amount of BTUs required to cool your whole home. Large-scale AC systems use “tons” for measurement, where one ton equals 12,000 BTUs.
Another critical aspect to consider is the local climate. Namely, if you live in a warmer climate, you may need a more powerful air conditioning unit. On the other hand, if you live in a cooler coastal climate, you might need to consider the unit’s specific protective coating to prevent sea air erosion.