Buying an Air Conditioner: Sizing

Buying an Air Conditioner: Sizing

Ask an expert, and most will say that sizing is the most important factor when it comes to buying an HVAC system. A top-of-the-line model won’t work efficiently if it isn’t sized right for your home. So read on and learn about heating and air conditioner sizing.

Sizing an HVAC System

The size of an HVAC system is determined by how much conditioned air is needed to cool and heat a building. The units of energy needed to heat a home, or the units of heat that must be removed to cool a home, are expressed as British Thermal Units, or BTUs.

Many factors affect how effectively an HVAC system will heat and cool your home. Among them are these:

  • square footage
  • orientation of the home
  • number of windows
  • how many occupants are in the home
  • where the air conditioner is located
  • sun exposure
  • geographical location

Too often, HVAC companies base the sizing of an HVAC system on what was installed prior, or the square footage of the home. HVAC systems that are too large may short cycle, which means they turn on and off continuously. This causes additional wear on parts, and may lead to breakdowns. Units that are too small will run continuously, wearing out the unit before its time.

Sizing Equipment Correctly

Your best bet for getting a correctly sized heating and cooling system is for your HVAC consultant to gather thorough specifications and data about your home, and then enter it into computer software designed specifically to calculate system sizes. The software is broken down as follows:

  • Manual J: determines capacity needed for the household
  • Manual D: determines how much volume of air the ductwork should be able to accommodate
  • Manual S: calculates the size of equipment needed.

Keep in mind that if you opt for one of the more efficient models being produced today, you may be able to install a smaller capacity system for cooling and heating.

For more information on furnace and air conditioner sizing, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. We’ve served Neptune City and the surrounding area since 1948.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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