What Size AC is Good for My Home?

Are you preparing to replace your existing air conditioning unit or are you installing central AC for the first time? Alternatively, have you recently undergone renovations in your New Jersey home that have affected your home’s energy efficiency? Determining the right-sized AC unit for your home can be difficult, but this guide is here to help. Keep reading to learn more! Which Size Air Conditioner?

Bigger is Not Better

You might assume that a large central air conditioning unit is the way to go; however, oversized air conditioners are not necessary for most homeowners. Due to the capacity and capabilities of larger units, they only need to run for a short time to maintain the thermostat setting. This fact means that the units will start up and shut down many more times in a day than a properly sized AC unit. The extra short cycling can shorten the life of an oversized unit. In addition, an oversized air conditioner will not have time to properly dehumidify your home each time it turns on.

Starting Calculations: Considering the Cooling Capacity

Murrye Bernard at About.com provides a good guide for determining the size of AC unit you need for a single room. You can also create a rough estimate using the EnergyStar.gov website to determine the cooling capacity needed for different areas. Still, Bernard warns that there are several factors that can affect the size estimate, including the amount of shade and number of people who will occupy the room regularly.

Calculating the Right-Sized AC Unit for Your Home

Because of the variations to consider, it is best to consult with an experienced HVAC specialist about size if you plan to install a central air conditioning unit. They will consider your home’s total cooling capacity, square footage, number and size of windows, and orientation to the sun. In the process, the specialist may also perform a home energy audit to examine ductwork, check for leaks, and consider the amount of insulation you have.

In fact, you may want to make sure that your home is as energy efficient as possible before investing in a new AC system. According to Energy.gov, your unit’s efficiency and effectiveness will likely be rated by its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). For example, a home that is drafty and has only single-paned windows will likely need an AC unit with a much higher capacity than an energy-efficient home of the same size. If possible, upgrade to energy-efficient windows and repair any areas that leak air before calculating the unit size you really need. Once repairs are made, most HVAC technicians will then use the Manual J sizing methods to calculate the load and make a recommendation.

Cooling Experts at Point Bay Energy Heating and Cooling

For help determining the right-sized AC unit for your Toms River home, contact Point Bay Fuel. Our company has served the heating and cooling needs of New Jersey homeowners since 1906. Call us at (732) 349-5059 to set up a consultation or fill out our simple online contact form for more information.