Choosing the Right Size Air Conditioner for Your Home | Insight from Your Trusted Arlington, TX Air Conditioning Service Provider
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Many Arlington, TX residents start preparing for brutally hot summers by having an air conditioning service technician inspect their window and central ACs. When average daily temperatures in Arlington, TX are 88 degrees between June and September, you certainly do not want your AC breaking down!
Minuteman Heating and Air gets frequent calls from customers asking why their new air conditioner doesn’t seem to be cooling their homes as well as they expected. In most cases, our HVAC service technicians will perform complete inspections of the customer’s AC and find out the AC unit’s size does not accommodate the space it is supposed to cool.
The bigger the air conditioner, the cooler your home will be in the summer, right? Well, as experienced air conditioning service technicians, we’re here to tell you that’s not true. Read these tips for choosing ACs that efficiently cool rooms without consuming more energy than necessary.
Determine BTU Needs First
BTUs, or British Thermal Units, refer to an air conditioner’s capacity to cool specific room sizes. To find out how much BTUs a room needs, simply multiply the width of the room by the length of the room to get the area’s square footage. Then, multiply that number by 25. The result will provide you with the necessary BTUs for that particular room.
For example, a room that is 30 feet in length and 20 feet in width has 600 square feet of space to cool. When you multiply 600 by 25, the answer is 15,000 BTUs.
Be aware that other factors may come into play that decrease or increase BTU calculations. Our air conditioning service technicians have found the following factors to be the biggest influences on BTUs:
Shade: Areas of your home that are heavily shaded by trees, large shrubbery or tall buildings remain cooler than other parts of the home. You may want to reduce your final BTU amount by 10 percent to accommodate shading factors so that the AC unit you purchase provides an air temperature that is consistently comfortable. Alternatively, if the area is prone to excessive sunlight, then increase your original BTU calculation by 10 percent.
Occupation: For rooms frequently occupied by two or more people, add another 600 BTUs for each person. Extra body heat released in an enclosed area means you will need more cooling power. Our air conditioning service technicians can help you determine how many BTUs you need to efficiently cool each room in your home.
Kitchen AC: For kitchen air conditioners, add 4000 British Thermal Units to your calculated number. Also, consider how much cooking is done in the kitchen as well, since a low number of hours spent using the oven means you may be able to get by with a less powerful AC.
Energy Efficient Rating
Another number to look for when buying air conditioners is the EER number located on the side of all AC units. Energy Efficient Rating is the ratio of wattage power to the unit’s BTU number. For example, if an air conditioner has a BTU of 10,000 and the EER number is 10, then this indicates the unit consumes excessive amounts of electricity–100 watts to be exact.
It is a U.S. federal mandate that all window ACs have an EER rating of 9.0 or higher to keep energy use at a minimum. In addition, units exhibiting the same kind of efficiency that have EER ratings between 10.5 and 11 will be stamped with an “Energy Star” rating to ensure consumers know they are purchasing non-EER labeled A/C units.
Escape the Summer Heat with These Great Cooling Tips
Don’t wait until the intense heat of a typical Arlington, TX summer is bearing down on your city before you act to provide you and your family with a comfortable, cool environment in which to relax and get a good night’s sleep. So, stay cool with these great cooling tips from your air conditioning service technicians at Minute Man Heating and Air Conditioning:
- Avoid allowing the temperature to rise above 75 degrees in your home. The hotter your home is, the longer it takes for an air conditioning system to cool it down. Most AC units are designed to handle a 20-degree temperature change. This means that if the temperature in your home is 90 degrees, the A/C system can only provide a cool-down to about 70 degrees
- Replace A/C filters four or five times each year. Filters are not expensive and the cleaner they are, the more efficient your air conditioner is at cooling your home. In addition, keeping your filters clean reduces the amount of allergens in the air as well as mold spores. If you aren’t sure about how to replace filters, let one of our air conditioning service technicians do it for you.
- Air conditioners frequently ice over when coils are dirty or inexperienced technicians install clumsily designed ductwork. Your A/C unit will stop releasing cold air and may overheat as well. Immediately switch your unit to “fan” to allow the ice to melt and have one of our air conditioning service technician’s people to ensure your unit has not been irreparably damaged.
- If you own an outdoor compressor, plant shrubs or small trees around the unit to provide shade but be careful not to plant them too close to the compressor. Sufficient air flow needs to continue moving around the compressor to avoid overheating and the extra space allows air conditioning service technicians easy access if the unit needs maintenance or repair work.
- Avoid placing heat-emitting appliances and lighting fixtures around an AC system’s thermostat. The thermostat will think it is warmer in the house and continue running when it isn’t necessary.
Finally, make sure that your cooling and heating ducts are insulated and sealed properly prior to summer’s scorching heat. Properly functioning ducts may improve the cost efficiency of your cooling system by at least 20 percent. Especially focus on crawlspace, basement and attic ducts where leaks often exist. Unheated garage ducts should also be inspected for any seal-related compromises that could cause an increase in monthly energy bills.
Our Air Conditioning Service Technicians are Standing By
Minuteman Heating and Air genuinely cares about keeping you and your family comfortable and cool when it’s sticky and hot outside. Preventative maintenance performed on all your AC units is the best way to avoid sleepless nights and miserable days. Call us today to schedule a maintenance or repair appointment.