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Sizing A Window Or Mini Split Air Conditioning Unit The Right Way

Sizing A Window Or Mini Split Air Conditioning Unit The Right Way
Staying comfortable in Florida relies on having the best air conditioning for the job. While many homes have central AC, there are also those – like older homes or smaller bungalows – that tend to rely more on window air conditioning. They’re also popular for use after a hurricane or other severe storm when a power outage has your the temperature in your home rising.
Under the right circumstances, a window unit can strengthen overall temperature management. This is great if you have a large home with several different temperature zones, or if some members of your household are more sensitive to heat than others.

Unfortunately, if your air conditioner isn’t the right size, you can run into all kinds of trouble.

This is especially true when it comes to efficiency. When a window air conditioning unit is not sized for the job at hand, it creates a tremendous amount of waste. It can end up running for an extra hour or two each day because of difficulty reaching the desired temperature.

Luckily, you can avoid these troubles by following the right process for sizing your AC.

How To Size A Window Air Conditioning Unit
The absolute best way to get the right answers for anything related to your air conditioner is to ask a local professional. That said, it never hurts to go through the process yourself to know what kind of options you might be dealing with.

It All Starts With Capacity
No matter what dimensions your unit is, it needs to have sufficient cooling capacity to meet your needs. This is usually measured in BTUs, and a window-based unit will range anywhere from 5,000 to 12,500 units. You usually need to have about 20 BTUs for every square foot of space.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story – and can leave you buying a much larger unit than needed.

To measure up the space to be cooled, multiply the room’s length by its height. If there’s another room in the space not separated by its own door, you should add the size of both spaces together.

Check Out Mitigating Factors
There are some elements that make it easier or harder to cool a room. Climate and outside temperature will always factor in, but but there are aspects of the room itself that have a bigger day-to-day impact.

According to the experts at Energy Star, you should always keep these issues in mind:

  • Cut the expected capacity by 10% if there’s a lot of shade, such as from a nearby tree.
  • If the room gets a lot of direct sunlight, particularly in the early hours, add a full 10%.
  • If the room is shared by more than one occupant, add 600 BTUs per additional person.
  • If you are trying to keep a kitchen cool, you’ll want to tack on an added 4,000 BTUs.

Match Your Unit To Your Space
In general, a small bedroom or office of up to 300 square feet will need 5,000-6,000 BTUs. A larger bedroom of 250-400 square feet or a playroom that sees lots of traffic should see a unit anywhere from 7,000 to 8,000 BTUs.

For the living room, typically 350-650 square feet, aim for anywhere from 10,000 to 12,000 total BTUs. There’s a wide variance here because of the size and the variety of floor plans. An open floor plan will require significantly more BTUs for the same results.

East Coast Heating & Air Conditioning is always here to help you pick the right AC.

To learn more, contact us.

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