Tons, SEER ratings, AFUE – when it comes to figuring out what kind of AC unit your home needs, it’s important to make sure you make the right decision. But how do you make that decision? In this post, we’ll walk you through the process to help you decide.
Buying a New HVAC Unit: The Basics
- Size: Though it would be much easier if your air conditioner size was just based on a simple formula, it’s not that easy. There are many other factors that come into the process as well. The size is based on how much your home needs to be cooled, which is based on numerous other factors, such as insulation, shade trees, types of windows and similar issues. Units are based in terms of tons, which represent 12,000 BTUs of cooling power per ton. Home HVAC units are typically sized in 2-5 ton units.
- Home energy efficiency: What kind of insulation do you have? Do you have insulating window treatments? Questions like these help your service technician determine what your home will require in terms of cooling power. A home with poor insulation, a lot of un-shaded windows on the south side and no shade trees will take much more cooling power than a home that is nestled in shade trees with insulating window treatments and walls that are insulated well above code.
- Duct sizing: Why does this matter? An air conditioning unit can only shove so much air through restricted ductwork. If you have smaller ducts, adding a larger air conditioning unit won’t help the problem, it will just put additional stress on the blower and cause excessive wear and tear, leading to early failure. If the ducting isn’t done properly, you’ll end up with hot spots in one part of the house and cold rooms in another.
- Other areas of concern: Does your home have high ceilings? Where are the windows and how energy efficient are they? High ceilings will increase the cubic footage that needs to be cooled while inefficient windows will let the heat back in as your HVAC unit struggles to keep up with the additional load.
By keeping these issues in mind while looking at HVAC units, you can make an intelligent decision that will serve you well for years to come. If you need help finding just the right system, please feel free to contact us today for assistance. At Cox Heating & Air Conditioning, your comfort is our only concern.