The terms that HVAC contractors use can leave you scratching your head. One such confusing term is “A/C tonnage.” It’s easy to think of it as the amount of air that an air conditioner handles in a given time, or the unit’s actual weight. Actually, the term refers to cooling capacity rather than weight. Let’s delve deeper into this important rating.
What is A/C Tonnage?
In A/C jargon, tonnage describes the amount of heat that an air conditioning unit can remove from your home in an hour. Heat is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). A ton of cooling can remove 12,000 BTUs of heat in an hour. Therefore, a two-ton A/C unit can remove 24,000 BTUs per hour.
Why is Tonnage Important?
In most homes, every 400 to 1,000 square feet will require a ton of cooling. Therefore, when replacing your A/C unit, you’ll want to get a new unit with a tonnage rating that’s appropriate for the square footage you want to cool.
An undersized unit will struggle to keep your home comfortable on the hottest days. But that doesn’t imply bigger is better. If you’ve made some home improvements to make your home more efficient, you could be eligible for a unit with less tonnage than your current one. A system that’s too big for your space will cycle on and off too frequently, reducing system life and comfort. Higher tonnage also means an unnecessary increase in energy costs.
How Do You Find Your Unit’s Tonnage?
The tonnage is usually coded into your outdoor A/C unit’s model number. Look for an even two-digit number in the model number on the unit’s data plaque. Divide this number by 12 (12,000 BTU/hr reduced accordingly) to get your unit’s tonnage. If the number is 18, that means you have a 1.5-ton unit.
Choosing the right A/C tonnage for your home is critical to optimizing A/C performance and efficiency.
If you need help with properly sizing your replacement air conditioning system before making a purchase in Central New Jersey, contact the A/C experts at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.
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).