The Reliant Air Conditioning Blog

Size Matters: Here’s How To Know If You Need an AC Replacement

The Size of Your AC Unit Matters

In this business, the size of your A/C unit matters. If you discover that your system is struggling to keep your home cool and comfortable, it might be time to consider upgrading your undersized HVAC system. Here’s how to tell if you need a bigger AC unit.

Finding The Right Sized AC Unit

As a general rule, it’s less expensive in the long run to purchase an HVAC unit that’s large enough to properly cool your entire home, rather than purchasing multiple units to handle portions of your home. However, as the saying goes, bigger isn’t necessarily better, either. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t purchase a unit that’s considered to be oversized for your home since it’ll cool things down faster than the humidity can be removed from the air. You can depend on the experts at Reliant Air Conditioning to help you determine the system that’s best for your home in terms of both comfort and budget.

If you’ve been researching new air conditioning systems, the easiest way to determine if the system you’re considering is appropriate for your home is based on the published manufacturer’s guidelines. The total number of square feet that the system can adequately cool will be indicated, and this will help give you a ballpark idea of whether or not that particular system is a hit or miss for your home. The same goes for the system you already have installed, as well. If the square footage of your home exceeds or misses the guidelines, then you’re going to need an upgrade.

If You Want To Get Technical…

What’s the science behind all of this? BTUs, or British Thermal Units. A BTU is simply the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a pint of water by one degree Fahrenheit. It’s the fancy way that manufacturers size air conditioners, but they also make it rather easy to determine the BTUs your system can handle. Check your manual or, if you’ve thrown that out like a lot of folks, check the label on your outdoor unit. Following the model and serial number, you’ll find three digits, such as 024, that correlate with the number of BTUs by the thousands your air conditioner can remove from your home.

Here’s a basic formula to help you out – multiple the square footage of the area you want to cool (usually the square footage of your home) by 25. To that number, add 400 for each person who lives in your home and another 1,000 for every full window installed in your home. This grand total represents the number of BTUs your system can handle, generally speaking.

Simple, right? Well, not so much, as these numbers aren’t actual.

Other Factors

Bottom line? Give us a call. Other factors are at play when it comes to sizing your air conditioning system, including:

  • Length of ducts and vents (which affects how far your air has to travel throughout your home)
  • Construction materials (which can absorb energy)
  • Humidity in your geographic area (and we all know what that’s like in DFW, right?)
  • Whether or not your system seems to run constantly (not good)
  • The energy efficiency of your system (and how it affects your energy bills)

Need A Professional Opinion?

Need a professional opinion about replacing or upgrading your home’s system? Give us a shout. We’re proud to be the award-winning, gimmick-free choice in Dallas for AC replacement and AC repair!

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