Choosing the right-size air conditioner is essential for maximizing comfort and energy efficiency. Keep reading to learn more about how size is measured and how to choose the one that is right for you.
How Is the Size Measured?
If you’ve been shopping around for air conditioners, then you’ve probably noticed that the size they’re measured in is referred to as “tonnage.” The tonnage of an air conditioner unit has nothing to do with its weight; instead, it refers to how much space it can cool in an hour. Residential air conditioners range from 1.5-ton to 5-ton units.
Why the Size of the Unit Matters
It’s tempting to think that if a 2.5-ton unit would work well for your home, then a 3-ton unit would work even better. On one level, the logic makes sense. The unit is more powerful, which theoretically means that it would run less often, saving you money and wear on the unit.
While it’s true that the unit would cool your house rapidly, it’s not true that this would save you money. A unit that is too big for a dwelling will turn on and cool the house quickly, but then it would shut off before going through the entire cooling cycle. Heat would quickly enter your house, prompting the unit to kick back on, run for a few minutes, and then turn off again. This constant on-off cycle is far from energy efficient and would drive up your electric bill.
A unit that is too small, on the other hand, will run constantly. It may keep your home cool and comfortable, but it’ll have to work around the clock to do so, and your energy bill will reflect that.
A unit that is the proper size for your home will run through the appropriate number of cycles every hour, keeping your home comfortable without driving up your energy bill.
What Size Should I Buy?
Several factors determine the size of the air conditioner that you need, including the size of your home and your geographical region. For example, 2,000-square-foot home in Alton, Illinois generally requires a 3-ton unit. A 2,000-square-foot home in Austin, Texas, on the other hand, would require a 3.5-ton unit. Because having the right-size unit is so important, it’s essential that you have your needs evaluated by a professional.
At B & W Heating and Cooling, we can help you choose the unit that is right for you. Contact us today to schedule your service.