How to Choose the Right Size Replacement Air Conditioner

While undersized air conditioning units struggle to adequately cool rooms, oversized ones have inconsistent cooling and heating cycles and will consume too much energy. Eventually, this is harmful to the lifespan of your AC. On the contrary, properly sized air conditioning units go a long way in performance and efficiency. 

The question now becomes how to choose a replacement that’s the right fit. There are guidelines you can follow, and, in this article, we will go into the details of some of them. It’s also worth noting that size is calculated in cooling capacity, not actual physical size.

How the Cooling Capacity of AC Units is Calculated

Let’s get a bit technical here. Essentially, central air conditioning units’ efficiency is measured by the energy efficiency ratio (EER). EER is the ratio of cooling capacity, given in British thermal units (Btu), to power inputs given in watts. The cooling capacity of an AC unit depends mainly on the size of the house.

Most central ACs have between 5,500-14,000 Btu or more cooling capacity. For every square foot of living space, 20-25 Btu cooling capacity is required for optimal cooling. Therefore, to calculate the right AC size for your home, you need to measure the square feet of your home and multiply by 20/25 Btu. For instance, if your house is 400 sq. ft., you’ll multiply 400×20 to get 8,000 Btu. 

An hourly rating of 12,000 Btu, equivalent to 1 ton, is common for central AC units. Therefore, most AC units are identified by tons, thus simplifying the jargon for regular people. Air conditioning units have indications of the Btu per hour expended. This will make the shopping process easier for you.

What are SEER Ratings?

Provided that EER is the standard measure of cooling efficiency, SEER ratings are calculated over an entire season. So, SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Primarily, calculating SEER values takes into account the outdoor temperature ranging between 65 – 104 degrees Fahrenheit. SEER ratings are also important when sizing AC units.

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing an AC Size

The ACs cooling capacity isn’t the only consideration you need to make when choosing a size. The following are other aspects that affect the efficiency of an air conditioning unit: 

  • The height of your ceiling. The higher the ceiling, the more air is needed for cooling.
  • Insulation of the room. Rooms insulated with foam tend to control air temperature, and they require smaller cooling capacities. 
  • Room occupancy. The higher the number of people in a given area, the more cooling capacity needed. Humans generate heat that adds to the room temperature. 
  • The number of appliances in the house. Electric appliances that release heat, such as TVs and washers, add warmth to your room.
  • Surrounding weather conditions. Different parts of the world experience varying weather conditions around the year. This variance needs to be considered when sizing an AC for effective cycles.

Reasons to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Sometimes air conditioner replacement makes more sense than the never-ending repairs. Then again, apart from the sizing problem, there are other good reasons you might consider replacing your AC unit. These include:

  • Energy efficiency. Older models have low SEER ratings, which show low energy efficiency. Switching to a modern air conditioner with a better rating will help you use energy more efficiently, thus saving you on bills.
  • Huge repair costs. Over time, AC repair costs pile up, and it becomes hard to keep up. A replacement, whether partial or entire, can cut on these bills. 
  • Age of the AC. Air conditioning units have an average lifespan of about 15-20 years. Old AC units have outdated technologies and break down easily. 

Get Professional HVAC Services in Coachella Valley

When your air conditioning is acting up, the last thing you want to do is wait for an appointment or parts. Anthem Air Conditioning is one of the largest air conditioning repair companies in the Coachella Valley. It has the service personnel and stocked products to keep you cool when it’s triple digits outside. We service the Coachella Valley and Riverside. Call us today at 760-892-2621 to get instant help.