How do you know what size air conditioner to get for your house?
When people call us to replace their system, they often tell us that they need a bigger unit. This is almost never the case.
Rule of Thumb
The typical rule of thumb is that you need about 1 ton for every 500 square feet of your home. If you have a 2,000 square foot house, that would usually call for a 4-ton system. Some of the manufactures of the higher-end systems will say 400 square feet per ton. This is most often true if you are getting a multi-stage system, or a variable refrigerant flow system. But for most of our customers, we use the 500 square foot per ton rule.
What Happens Most of the Time
Usually when it comes to sizing the homeowner leaves it up to us to choose the correct size, and there are calculations we do to make sure we are giving you the right system to cool your home. And 95% of the time the system we are replacing is the correct size for the house. The homeowner does not usually need to invest in a larger system unless they’ve added on to the air-conditioned footage of the house, such as adding on a room or converting a garage.
The Real Issue
We have found that when our customers talk about needing a larger unit, it’s usually because they have found that some rooms don’t get enough air. We address those issues not by installing a more powerful system, but by re-working your air ducts.
If You Go Too Big
Why wouldn’t we just install a more powerful system? If we oversize a unit, that actually brings up a whole bunch of other problems. For example, if we went from a 3-ton to a 5-ton unit in the summertime, we’d be able to drop the temperature on the thermostat a lot faster. This sounds like a good thing, and of course, it is a good thing for getting you cooler more quickly.
During Texas summers, you need your system to run for longer amounts of time to remove humidity! If we put in something too big, your system will do something called “short cycling.” This is when your unit doesn’t run long enough to remove humidity. When you can lower the humidity in your house the air is dryer and feels a lot better, even at a higher temperature than cooler, moist air.
Your Next Step
We will always make sure that you have just the right size unit for your home, one that will keep you comfortable without short cycling and leaving you with humid air! If your home is not comfortable, please call us at (972) 423-1279.