This article is going to focus on something that doesn’t get nearly enough attention when it comes to air conditioning homes in Waterford, MI and Oxford, MI. I’m talking about the design or load calculation phase. Determining the HVAC unit size is absolutely critical to getting satisfactory results for the client.
MY AIR CONDITIONER ISN’T THAT HEAVY
You often hear that an air conditioner or heat pump is a three ton model or a 5-ton model. What does that really mean? It has nothing to do with weight. It’s actually based on history when large chunks of ice were used for cooling. Scientists use a formula to determine how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) it takes to equal the cooling capacity of one ton of ice. In round figures it’s 12,000 BTUs for each ton.
CORRECT SIZING IS COMPLICATED
Yes, the process starts with how large or small a house is. The rule of thumb is that it takes one ton of cooling for every 600 square feet. Let me be as clear as I possibly can: This formula is just a starting point. If any HVAC salesperson determines what size air conditioner to install based ONLY on the square footage of your home, you should be very leery. Determining the correct size is much more complicated.
DETERMINING WHAT’S JUST RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME
No sizing decision can be made without considering these important factors:
- Number of windows
- Quality of windows & doors
- Level and quality of insulation
- Orientation of house for sun exposure
- Number of people living in the house
The fear is that many contractors are subscribing to that old card-playing adage when it comes to HVAC unit size, “Go big or go home.” In some ways it’s understandable. They don’t want to hear complaints about a house being too warm. However, installing an air conditioner that’s too large creates another set of problems.
- Higher upfront cost
- Prone to short-cycling (turning on & off repeatedly)
- This in turn leads to higher electric bills and shorter equipment life
LET KOTZ HELP YOU
Put all of this together and the best way to assure the correct HVAC unit size is to call Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for a no-obligation estimate. This will include a detailed explanation of why Kotz is recommending a certain size air conditioner for your Waterford, MI or Oxford, MI home.