When you’re scrolling through product page after product page for air conditioners, the job of replacing your old one becomes overwhelming. It’s getting close to summer, and you need an air conditioner: but there are so many questions to ask.
One of the most important ones to ask is what size you need.
You may not think this is that essential, but trust us: getting the wrong size could be one of the biggest financial mistakes you’ve ever made.
How To Determine If Your Air Conditioner Is The Wrong Size?
BTU or British Thermal Unit is a form of measurement, communicating how much energy it requires to adjust your temperature. Every A/C emits a specific amount of BTU, the larger the air conditioner, the more BTU it emits. Your air conditioner should be emitting 20 BTU for every square foot.
Instead of having you do the math, here is a recommended amount of BTU for specific sized rooms:
- Small room (50 to 250 square feet) – 5,000 to 6,500 BTU
- Mid-size room (250 to 350 square feet) – 7,000 to 8,500 BTU
- Large room (350 to 650 square feet) – 9,500 to 12,500 BTU
What Happens When An Air Conditioner Is The Wrong Size?
New air conditioner models are made every year, and they’re getting more efficient all the time. If you haven’t replaced your AC in the past 10-15 years, you won’t be able to just get the same model. You’ll have to have an experienced home comfort technician evaluate your home.
If you opt to buy the AC without a professional consult, or use a cheap company, you could get the wrong size. And that can have seriously expensive and annoying consequences.
Here’s what will happen when you have an air conditioner that’s too big, one that’s too small, and one that’s just right (think Goldilocks).
It Won’t Cool Your Home
The wrong-sized unit can cause your air conditioner not to blow cold air.
Too big: An AC that is too big will only run for a short period of time, shutting on and off quickly as the temperature fluctuates. How long is your air conditioner running? Knowing this will tell you if your unit is working as it should. So, while the air may feel cool (or even a little cold) in some spots, the AC will not have run long enough to cool your whole home and extract excess moisture from the air.
That’s right: your air conditioner helps with your humidity problems, and when it doesn’t run long enough, that humidity won’t go anywhere. You’ll be left with air that feels like you woke up in a cold, clammy sweat – and that is unpleasant.
Too small: A small AC will run for a long, long time, trying desperately to reach your desired indoor temperature. But it’s like a wrestler in the wrong weight class: it doesn’t stand a chance.
Just right: The perfectly size air conditioner will run smoothly and have no trouble reaching your desired indoor temperature – and keeping it that way all summer long.
It Will Work Harder, and Break Down More Often
Too big: Because a large air conditioner will turn on and off quickly and frequently – we call it short-cycling – there will be more wear on the system. It takes a lot of work to turn on and off so often. With more wear and tear comes more breakdowns.
Too small: Small ACs will have the same problem, but for the opposite reason: they’re running constantly, and they wear down until they simply can’t run anymore.
Just right: An air conditioner sized appropriately for your home will work as it was designed, meaning your operation stays safe and efficient, and you won’t be seeing us more than the occasional repairs and annual tune up.
You’ll Pay an Arm and a Leg on Bills
Too big AND too small: Between short cycling – or constant use – and all those repairs bills, your energy and operating costs are going to cost you an arm and a leg. And unfortunately, unless you want to replace your new air conditioner with a properly-sized one, there’s really no way to stop the vicious, expensive cycle.
Just right: When you have an air conditioner size that’s just right, you can stay cool at a lower cost: in fact, with the right care, these new, more efficient Carrier and Lennox air conditioners will save you money on your energy bill.
Its Lifespan Will Be Drastically Shorter
Too big AND too small: While the wear, tear, and repairs cause your bills to go up, it causes the lifespan of the air conditioner to go way down. What should have lasted you at least 10-15 years with the right care won’t make it that far, meaning you’re going to have to find a way to buy a new air conditioner much sooner than you thought.
Just right: With TLC, an air conditioner could last beyond the average 10-15 year mark, making your investment even better.
What Determines the Size of My Air Conditioner?
Well, all of those consequences sound absolutely awful. That’s why we recommend you get a professional consultation and sizing.
There are several key factors we look at when we’re sizing an air conditioner for you.
1. Square Footage
This one is straightforward – the more house you have, the larger the air conditioner needs to be to reach every nook and cranny. On average, the recommended sizing for an air conditioner is 1 tonne of cooling capacity for every 500 square feet. But square footage is just the tip of the iceberg.
2. Level of Insulation and Ductwork
Insulation is what helps keep your home air tight and efficient. But if you don’t have good quality insulation, or you don’t have enough insulation to begin with, this will impact our calculations. Your ductwork layout will also contribute to our measurements.
As much as all of us look forward to summer every year (hello vitamin D and no coats!), in the GTA, very hot and very sticky with humidity. You’ll need an air conditioner that won’t only fight the warm, sticky air, but win against it, keeping you comfortable.
4. Windows and Landscaping
The size, amount, and direction of windows all play a role in determining air conditioner size. For example, if you have a large number of south facing windows, this will warm up the air in your home during the day. Your air conditioner will have to be able to accommodate the warmer indoor temperatures.
On the other hand, if you have a particularly tree-filled yard that provides a lot of shade, the air in your home won’t heat up the same way.
This isn’t an exaggeration: we really do have to look at everything! But in the end, you’ll get the best air conditioner in the right size the first time.
Additionally: Multiple Zones
Do you have (or want to have) multiple cooling zones in your home? This will impact how we size your air conditioner. You can learn more about the benefits of multi-zone systems here >
Avoid Extra Costs and Regret By Working With Husky
Don’t spend your summer filled with regret and toting around an empty wallet. We’ll give you a professional evaluation, and help you pick out the model of air conditioner that will make your home your summer paradise. And with our discounts and rebates, you have the opportunity to save even more!
You can start right now by requesting your free, no-obligation installation quote.I Want to Avoid Regret