What size Air Conditioner do I need?

One of the most common questions I hear from our clients is What Size Air Conditioner do I need?

Air Conditioner sizing is important, because the right size of your Air Conditioner will improve your comfort, give you the best financial returns and help you avoid expensive repair problems.

Central Air Conditioners are sized primarily on the  size of your home. The square footage and the ceiling height represent the total space to be cooled.  In Toronto and Southern Ontario, it’s usually not important to include finished basement space in the calculation, as cool air will usually naturally draft down to the lowest levels of your home. Windows, skylights and the direction your home faces will also influence sizing, as well as what equipment or appliances exist in the home that generate their own heat. Your new Air Conditioner will battle all of these forces to get you cool and comfortable.

Central Air Conditioner sizes are usually referred to by Ton’s. Each cooling ( or refrigeration) Ton is equal to about 12,000 BTU’s/hr. A more detailed explanation can be found here , and for most homes there are only 7 choices of Central Air Conditioning size available – from 1.5 Tons (18,000 BTU/hr) to 5 Tons (60,000 BTU/hr) – the more Ton(BTU/hr) the more cooling capacity.

Generally, in Greater Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara, the basic calculation that AirPlus Canada uses for BTU’s/hr per square foot of space cooled is 15 BTU/hr. So a 2,000 sq. foot home, will require a 30,000 BTU/hr or a 2.5Ton Central Air Conditioner. Our chart attached to this post will give you a breakdown of typical sizing for larger homes.

The capacity of your furnace blower fan is important as well. Your furnace fan will blow your cool air through your home in the summer, and it’s important that the size of the blower fan is at least equal to the size of the Air Conditioner system. An evaporator coil that is sized larger than the capacity of the furnace ( or Air Handler) blower fan can result in ice buildup on the coil, that can damage both the evaporator coil and the furnace. Newer furnaces have three basic blower fan sizes, 3Ton, 4Ton and 5 Ton, the size is included in the model number of your furnace, and if you need assistance you can call the AirPlus office at 416.298.6874 and we can help.

Over sizing your furnace will result in additional costs, initially as larger Air Conditioners costs more than smaller Air Conditioners, and also through operating costs as larger units generally consume more energy than smaller systems.

Under sizing your Air Conditioner can cost you as well. An undersized Air Conditioner will need to run longer to provide the necessary comfort level in your home, and may not be able to provide sufficient comfort at all.

Finally, this is a general reference, and nothing can  replace a proper Heat Gain calculation for your home. All homes are unique in design, geography and in use. Existing duct systems and zoning will also influence proper unit sizing. If you would like a detailed sizing for your home or business, call us 416.298.6874 or contact us through our website at airplus.ca

At AirPlus we hope this blog post will provide some help when you consider What Size Air Conditioner you need. AirPlus proudly represents Trane products and has over 23 years of experience providing over 14,000 clients with Dependable, Reliable, and Guaranteed service and support.

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