The right HVAC system for one home may not be ideal for another. When determining which AC is best for a given property, it’s important to account for the size of the house. You need a system that will provide cool air throughout your home. However, a system that’s too big for your needs will be more costly than necessary and can create excessive humidity.
That’s why experts use AC tonnage calculators when determining which system to recommend. The following points will help you better understand the value of this resource.
HVAC Tonnage Calculator: How it Works
Before understanding the role of an air conditioner tonnage calculator, it helps to understand what is being calculated. Key terms to be familiar with include:
- BTUs: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, British Thermal Units, or BTUs, refer to the “quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of liquid water by 1 degree Fahrenheit at the temperature that water has its greatest density.”
- AC Tonnage: It takes one ton of heat to remove 288,000 Btus from the air in a day. That’s the amount of Btus that must be removed to melt one ton of ice over 24 hours. Thus, a one-ton AC unit would be rated 12,000 Btus per hour.
The total square feet in a home is the primary factor involved in calculating which AC is best. The following air conditioner tonnage chart shows how square footage may affect the necessary AC tonnage in an average Florida home:
1.5 tons: 600-900 sq.ft.
2 tons: 901-1200 sq.ft.
2.5 tons: 1201-1500 sq.ft.
3 tons: 1501-1800 sq.ft.
3.5 tons: 1801-2100 sq.ft.
4 tons: 2101-2400 sq.ft.
5 tons: 2401-3000 sq.ft.
This AC tonnage calculator per square foot is merely a rough guide. However, it may not be accurate in all cases. To truly understand what size system you need, it’s also necessary to account for other important factors, including:
- the number of occupants,
- whether the home has a basement or crawlspace,
- ceiling height,
- how many windows are in the home,
- how many exterior doors there are, and
- what kind of insulation is used
It’s a good idea to coordinate with our HVAC experts if you’re thinking about replacing your current AC system. Along with removing the old unit and installing the new one, we’ll gladly help you make the right choice for your home.
When doing so, we insert key numbers (based on the factors listed above) into a formula to calculate the appropriate tonnage. Along with the essential numbers, we account for any additional factors we may deem relevant. We don’t rely merely on an AC tonnage calculator per square foot. We keep in mind how other elements may affect your needs.
It’s worth noting that you can find a variety of basic HVAC tonnage calculators online. That doesn’t mean you should rely on them to decide which system to purchase when it comes time to replace yours. They’re standardized, and may not be tailored to your specific home or lifestyle.
The Value of Using an AC Tonnage Calculator
Coordinating with experts who understand how to use an AC tonnage calculator is essential when you’re ready to purchase a new system. Calculating the appropriate tonnage offers the following key benefits:
Again, there’s no need to spend money on a large system that’s bigger than your home needs. We’ll help you choose the perfectly-sized unit, helping you save big time.
Accurately calculating the necessary tonnage for your new AC system doesn’t just prevent you from buying one that’s larger than appropriate. It also ensures you don’t purchase a unit that’s too small. If your system lacked sufficient tonnage, it wouldn’t adequately cool your home. In the Florida climate, that’s not a problem you want to have.
Additionally, if your system is too small, you might be inclined to run it too often, at too low a temperature. This puts a lot of strain on the HVAC system. As a result, you’ll reduce its maximum lifespan. That means you may need to repair or replace it earlier than expected - a cost you want to avoid.
Running your system too frequently on a high setting because it’s not cooling your home will also lead to high energy bills. Let us help you choose the ideal AC system to avoid this issue.
Avoiding Unexpected Problems
A system that’s too large for your home isn’t just costly. Like one that’s too small, it can also be prone to breakdowns.
That’s because tonnage that’s greater than necessary to cool a space can cause a unit to short cycle. It may also turn itself on and off too frequently, adding to the costs of operation, and wears down essential components. As with the above example, this wear-and-tear may force you to replace your AC system early. Don’t make the mistake of assuming there’s no such thing as too much tonnage! It’s important that your HVAC system be perfectly-suited to your home.
Adjusting to Changes
It’s easy to assume that the appropriate tonnage for your next AC system will be the same as the tonnage of your current system. However, that may not be the case. It’s always a good idea to speak with experts when replacing an AC.
First of all, it’s entirely possible your current system’s tonnage actually isn’t ideal. You should confirm what tonnage you need again, just in case an error was made in the past.
Changes to your home and lifestyle may have also affected how big or small your new system should be.
- Are there more (or fewer) occupants in the home now than there were when you got your old system?
- Have you added any new windows or doors?
- Did you construct any additions to the home, or make any substantial modifications?
- Have you replaced your old insulation with new material?
These are all important questions to ask. Luckily, you don’t need to calculate AC tonnage on your own. With help from Easy A/C, serving homeowners throughout the Tampa Bay area, you’ll get the right unit for your needs. Contact us online to learn more!