Although it may seem logical, the answer isn’t “As large as can fit.” A more powerful an air conditioner doesn’t mean necessarily mean a better air conditioner. Professionals must size a new AC to accommodate a home so that it 1) provides sufficient cooling load for comfort, and 2) works efficiently without energy waste. An air conditioner that is too small will not deliver enough cooling, and one that is too large will start to “short-cycle,” turning on and off rapidly and draining energy.
The process of sizing an air conditioner is a complicated one that requires the professionals to perform a heat load calculation. We’ll explain this process to show you the importance of having AC installation experts on the job.
Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. has more than a dozen years of experience sizing ACs. You can trust us with your air conditioning installation in Washington, DC.
The heat load calculation
A heat load calculation combines information about how a home traps and keeps out heat to determine the cooling load necessary to keep it comfortable. Numerous criteria go into the calculation; here are some of the most important ones:
- House volume: Square footage of a home isn’t helpful for determining its cooling needs; it’s the volume of space inside that matters.
- Insulation: How well-insulated is the house to keep excess heat from entering? How well-insulated is the attic?
- Number of windows and their facing: Windows allow in radiant heat from the sun, so the number of windows in a home and the direction they face is important for understanding how hot the house can get.
- Appliances and lights: The calculation takes into account the amount of heat-producing appliances and how much heat they add to a home.
- Number of residents: The human body creates a significant amount of heat, so the calculation must include the number of people regularly reside in the house.
Once all this data is collected, the technicians plug them into the calculation and determine how much cooling in tons an air conditioner must supply to overcome the warmth in a house without overworking. This way, they will know the ideal AC to install.
The consequences of putting in an AC that’s the wrong size are extreme, and usually the only solution to the problem is to replace completely the improperly-sized unit.
Make sure this error doesn’t occur with your new air conditioning installation in Washington, DC:
Call on the professionals at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. and let us handle the work, starting with correctly sizing your new AC unit.