Air Conditioner Sizing Key To Most Efficient, Comfortable OperationThursday, March 15, 2012 4:37
Buying the right-sized air conditioner is the key to producing a comfortable climate in your home without having to empty your bank account to run it.
If it is too large, an AC unit, which removes not only heat but also humidity, will cool a room too quickly, and produce a damp and humid atmosphere. But if it is the right size, your air conditioner will be able to take out all the heat as well as the humidity, and still achieve the most efficient operation.
In order to figure out the best size for your air conditioning unit, you must first determine the size of the room you are trying to cool. The easiest way to do so is to divide the area up into basic geometric shapes — squares, rectangles, and triangles — and calculate the square footage of each of those shapes. These calculations are simple:
● For square and rectangular areas, multiply the length of the space by the width; and
● For triangular areas, multiply the length of the space by the width and divide that number by two.
Then, using the square footage number you calculated, you can determine the most efficient cooling capacity, which is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour. For a room that is only 150 sq. ft., you would need a 5,000 British Thermal Unit air conditioner. For a larger room of 1,000 sq ft., you would have to go all the way up to 18,000 BTUs.
To account for shade, reduce the air conditioner’s cooling capacity by 10 percent. For a sunny room, increase the number by 10 percent. If a room is shared by more than two people, add 600 BTUs for every additional person. For kitchen use, hike it by 4,000 BTUs.
Also, you must be sure to take into account the power availability when choosing a location to install your unit. Some air conditioners come in 120-V (volts), while others are 240-V. Check what situation applies to you before you purchase a unit, or else you will be forced to rewire your outlets.
To learn more about choosing the right air conditioner, check out www.marlinappliance.com.
For more information and a more detailed diagram of capacities vs. room areas, see the federal government’s Energy Star website, at www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=roomac.pr_properly_sized.
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