When it comes to having a new air conditioning unit installed in your home or business, you can make the wrong decision regarding the size of the unit. If you choose a unit too small for your home or business, it will be challenging to cool the premises properly, leading to costly utility bills. If you choose a too-large unit, it will stop and start often, reducing its lifespan.
The team at Ambient Edge can help you choose the right air conditioning unit for your property and how many tons you need in the new unit.
What Is Tonnage When It Comes to an AC Unit?
It is important to note that tonnage does not refer to the actual weight of the air conditioning unit installed in your home or business. Instead, tonnage is the ability of the unit to cool the air. In other terms, tonnage is the ability of the unit to remove hot air in one hour.
When measuring the tonnage of an AC unit is done in BTUs. Research from years ago found that it takes 286,000 BTUs to melt one ton of ice over 24 hours. Dividing that number by 24 hours, HVAC experts came up with 12,000 BTU per 1-ton capacity for an AC unit. Using this measurement, the higher the BTU rating of a unit, the more hot air it will be able to remove.
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Determining the Correct Size AC Unit for Your Home
There is a multitude of items you need to take into consideration when finding the correct size air conditioning unit for your home. All of these items will impact the performance of the unit. You need to know the following when determining the right AC unit:
- What is the climate like where you live?
- What is the square footage of your home?
- How much insulation is installed at your home, how old is it, and what condition is it in?
- Does your home get a lot of sun or shade?
- How many windows are in the home, how old are they, and what shape are they in?
- How many people live in your home?
- How old is the ductwork?
- How many appliances generate heat?
- How high are your ceilings?
- What is the required tonnage of the AC unit you are looking at?
- Is there heat transfer between walls?
The largest AC unit in terms of tonnage for a home is 5 tons. The smallest is 1.5 tons, which is 18,000 BTU. Typical tonnage for residential AC units is as follows:
- 1000 sq.ft = 1 ton
- 2000 sq.ft = 2 ton
- 3000 sq.ft = 3 ton
- 4000 sq.ft = 4 ton
- 5000 sq.ft = 5 ton
Picking the Right Size AC Unit for Your Commercial Property
Determining the correct size AC unit for a commercial property is much different than doing so for a home. A commercial property has higher ceilings, more foot traffic, different insulation, and other factors that go into cooling the building effectively.
In order to pick the right AC unit for your business, you can add up all of the heat sources within the building and multiply that number by the number of 500-square-foot areas you want to have cooled by the unit. Keep the following numbers in mind:
- Every window that faces sunlight in a commercial building will add 1,000 BTUs to the estimate
- Every person who works in the building will add 380 BTUs to the estimate
- Every additional kitchen in the building will add 1,200 BTUs to the estimate
When determining the tonnage needed for your commercial building, you should divide the square footage of the property by 500 and then multiply that number by 12,000 BTUs. The number you get should then be added to the number reached by adding the employees, kitchens, and windows.
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What Happens if I Choose the Wrong AC Unit by Tonnage?
Choosing the right size AC unit for your home or business is vital based on tonnage. If you do not, you could encounter a lot of problems, all of which can be costly. Below, you will see what happens if you choose a unit that is too large and what happens if you choose a unit that is too small.
If you choose an AC unit that is too large:
- The cost per unit is more and can be as much as $800 more for a unit that is one size too large.
- The unit will not provide the property with even cooling throughout the home or business.
- The unit will cycle on and off repeatedly, leading to improper humidity removal.
- The unit will cool a room rapidly, leading to cycling on and off too often.
- You’ll see an increase in maintenance costs and electric bills.
If you choose an AC unit that is too small:
- When you experience the hottest days, the unit will not be able to keep your home or business at a comfortable temperature.
- The unit will use a lot of energy running at a maximum capacity during peak cooling hours of the day.
- The unit will run continuously to fight high temperatures.
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Join the Ambient Edge VIP Club Maintenance Plan Today
If you become a member of the Ambient Edge VIP Club Maintenance Plan, you will be privy to a host of benefits. One of those benefits is extending the lifespan of your appliances. Other benefits of being a club member include the following:
- $0 service call fee (typically $99)
- One free drain cleaning each year
- Front-of-line priority service
- VIP Club thermostat guarantee
- $650 off a new HVAC system
- One annual plumbing inspection upon request
- Two-year warranty on all repairs
- 10% discount on all repairs (HVAC & plumbing)
- Two tune-ups per year (AC & heating)
Call Ambient Edge Today for AC Installation Service
Are you in need of a new air conditioning unit for your home or business? Put your trust in the Ambient Edge team to complete the project in a timely and efficient manner. Call our office, or submit our contact form to schedule an appointment for AC installation today.