Choosing the Perfect Air Conditioner for Your Home

Air conditioners come in a variety of sizes, and it's essential to pick the right one for your home. To determine the size of air conditioner you need, you'll need to calculate the square footage of your home and multiply it by 20 to get the BTUs required. A 12,000 BTU unit will cool a space of 400 to 600 square feet, while a two-ton air conditioner will cool a 1500 square foot space. To calculate the size, simply multiply the length by the width of the room or area to be cooled.

Then, as a practical number, multiply that total by 25 BTU. This allows for good cooling, whether on a rainy and humid day or on a hot, sunny and humid day. Let's say the room is 12 feet wide by 15 feet long. Multiply 25 BTU per square foot and you get the minimum BTU air conditioner you should buy.

That means you need a cooling capacity of 180 x 25% of 3D4500 BTU. Whether you choose a window air conditioner or a central air unit, you'll get the best efficiency and therefore reduce operating costs if you select based on the size of the area the unit must cool. Depending on your needs and your desire for an energy-efficient unit, you can choose between single-stage or two-stage systems. The BTuH rating indicates the amount of energy your air conditioner or HVAC uses to remove heat from your home in one hour.

Consumer Reports tests air conditioners in rooms that are the same size as those intended for cooling. The air conditioner thermostat is mounted inside the air conditioner, so the higher it is, the better it is to mount the air conditioner. To pick the right air conditioner size for you, you must first calculate the size of the domestic spaces the air conditioner serves, in square feet. For a 350 to 550 square foot living room or family room, you'll want a large 9,800 to 12,500 Btu air conditioner, especially if you have an open floor plan.

Do yourself a favor and measure the area of the house to be refrigerated, calculate your BTU needs, and size the air conditioner appropriately. When people talk about size in reference to air conditioners, they are not referring to the physical dimensions of the appliance itself. A model that is too large will cool a room too quickly without removing enough moisture from the air, leaving it cold and humid. In addition to cooling the air, the air conditioner also draws moisture from the air (moisture), making us all feel hot and humid.

For a small bedroom, home office, or guest room between 100 and 250 square feet, look for an air conditioner with a capacity of 5,000 to 6,500 Btu. If you use a window air conditioner, any kind of energy savings will be an advantage, especially if you don't have to work hard to do so. Making cold air filter down from a higher point has advantages for agitating room air and cooling the room temperature more thoroughly. John Galeotafiore from Consumer Reports explains how to maintain an air conditioning unit with a window to ensure fresh clean air all summer long.

While an HVAC professional or HVAC installation company can help you determine the right size, it's beneficial to understand the basic parameters before investing in a new one.

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