Sizing the Air Conditioner in Your Home
The process of choosing a new air conditioner for your home could be one of the more complicated appliance purchases you make as a homeowner. It’s especially important to work with a professional HVAC contractor to size it correctly, since its ability to deliver comfort and energy efficiency depends on determining the best fit for your particular home.
One of the most prevalent myths about central cooling systems is that bigger is better. In reality, a system that’s too large won’t provide as much comfort, humidity control, or efficient operation as one that’s precisely sized for your home. One that’s too small will run longer than the manufacturer intended, break down faster, and may not cool comfortably during excessively hot weather.
HVAC contractors use software called Manual J that takes into account the crucial elements of your home that contribute to the cooling load for the new air conditioner. The software requires precise inputs about:
- The overall insulation levels throughout your home.
- The quality, number and location of the windows.
- Air infiltration rates in the shell of the structure.
- The cubic footage you want to cool.
- Floorplan design and room configuration.
- Lighting, appliances and electronics that emit heat.
- The solar orientation of your home.
- Landscaping factors that contribute to the cooling load.
- Number of home occupants, their ages and preferred temperatures.
The contractor will input the details of each of these inputs on a room-by-room basis. Once the contractor has completed the sizing process, he will move onto inspecting and sizing the ductwork using software called Manual D. Properly sized and tightly sealed ducts assure you that the cooling system will give you the efficiency and performance you expect from new equipment.
Choosing your next air conditioner isn’t a do-it-yourself project and working with a pro from the outset assures your comfort.
The experts at Sobieski Services, Inc., want to help our customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland learn more about home comfort and energy — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — to save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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