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What’s Involved in Sizing a New Air Conditioner?

Summer is a great time to install a new air conditioner, letting you get a jump on those high energy bills with a more advanced and efficient system. But before you pull the trigger, you need to take several important steps to ensure that you have the best unit for your home. Chief among these is sizing your air conditioner, which means determining that its power output is matched to the space it needs to cool. If it’s too powerful, it will short cycle (turning on and off too quickly) which wastes considerable amounts of energy, and if it’s not powerful enough, then it will constantly strain to do its job adequately. So what’s involved in sizing a new air conditioner? Here’s a brief rundown of some of the most important considerations.

  • Square Footage. The first and most obvious factor is the size of your home. Usually, an air conditioner needs to generate 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour for every 500 square feet of space you have. Particularly warm areas like the kitchen or laundry room may need more power.
  • Insulation. Insulation helps keep warm air out of your home in the summer, as well as keeping it inside in the winter. If you have a lot of insulation in your home, your air conditioner can probably be smaller.
  • Sunlight Exposure. If your house gets a lot of sunlight, especially if it has big windows with an eastern or western view, it’s going to take more power to keep it cool in the height of summer.
  • Dehumidifiers. Westlake, OH gets a lot of humidity in the summer, which makes our homes feel warmer than they actually are. If you have a dehumidifier as part of your system, it will lower the necessary size of the air conditioner.

The experts at Westland Heating & Air Conditioning have the skills you need to properly size your new air conditioner, and will make sure to take all necessary steps before beginning installation.

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