In the US, the rising temperature has made air conditioners (AC) almost a requirement in every home. Choosing the wrong air conditioner for your home, on the other hand, can result in high electricity bills or regret over a purchase that isn’t very effective at cooling your room. Before you go out and buy one, make sure you have all of the necessary details. This buying guide aims to assist you in identifying the factors to consider when purchasing an air conditioner to beat the summer heat.
What type of AC should you buy?
The two most popular types of air conditioners for home use are window and split. They’re similar in terms of specifications, but they’re available in different sizes. Because of their different sizes and builds, each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
The most popular single-room air conditioners are window air conditioners. Both of the AC’s components are housed in a single box. As a result, window air conditioners are much easier to mount than split air conditioners. They’re normally placed on a window sill or in a wall opening. On the other hand, since all of the parts are in the same box, they are noisier than split air conditioners. They are the perfect choice for small rooms, and they are also reasonably priced.
Split air conditioners have two units. The indoor unit is located within the home, while the outdoor unit is located outside. Split air conditioners are quieter than window air conditioners since the compressor is located outside the building. Because of the split nature, it’s more complicated to mount the air conditioner because you’ll need to drill holes in your wall to pass cables and tubes between the two devices. They can be mounted in a space with no windows, which is something that window air conditioners cannot do. They have a sleek design and come in a variety of beautiful designs to match the rest of your home. They are, however, significantly more expensive than window air conditioners.
How do you know what capacity is right for your room?
After you’ve decided on the model of the air conditioner, you’ll need to figure out the capacity of the air conditioner. The capacity of an air conditioner is expressed in tons. Split and window air conditioners come in a variety of capacities, from 1 to 2 tons. The tonnage of an air conditioner does not apply to its weight; rather, it is a measurement of how quickly an air conditioner can cool a room. In simple terms, a larger room requires an air conditioner with a higher tonnage.
Taking into account something called BTU is a precise way of evaluating the exact capacity needed. The BTU is a measurement unit that is used to identify air conditioners. The higher the BTU, the better the air conditioner’s cooling. A single ton has a BTU rating of 12000. According to international standards, you’ll need about 20 BTUs per square foot. The number can also fluctuate depending on the room’s ambient temperature and other parameters. A higher tonnage means a more costly air conditioner, but the price of an air conditioner can also vary depending on the features and energy efficiency.
Although the size of the room is the most important factor to consider when deciding tonnage, there are a few other considerations to consider as well. The size of the windows, for example, and the amount of sunlight that reaches the room must also be considered. It’s crucial, particularly in the summer, because direct sunlight can raise the room’s temperature.
If you have a large window that faces the sun at certain times of the day, you’ll need a more powerful air conditioner. In the same way, the number of lights you use in the room affects. An increase in the number of electronic appliances in the room will significantly raise the temperature.
Choosing the right size air conditioner requires some basic math and just a few minutes of your time.
Calculate the square footage of the space you’ll be cooling. Measure the length and width of the room with a tape measure. Make a note of these measurements on a piece of paper. If the space isn’t square or rectangular, split it into squares and triangles and measure each section separately.
Calculate the room’s square footage. Multiply the length by the width for a square or rectangular space. If your space is a different shape, multiply 0.5 x length x width to get the square footage of the triangular parts, then add the square and triangular sections to get the total square footage of the room.
If you’re buying a central air conditioning system, calculate the square footage of each room in your house. Another way to figure out the total square footage of your house is to look at your property tax statement or call your county auditor’s office. Don’t include places that won’t be cooled, such as the basement.
Determine the amount of cooling power needed for space or your house. British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour is used to calculate the cooling power of room air conditioners and central air conditioning systems. The United States Department of Energy Energy Star website offers these guidelines for BTUs per square footage: 100 up to 300 sq. feet: 5,000 to 7,000 BTU 300 up to 550 sq. feet: 8,000 to 12,000 BTU 550 up to 1,000 sq. feet: 14,000 to 18,000 BTU 1,000 up to 1,200 sq. feet: 21,000 to 24,000 BTU 1,500 up to 2,000 sq. feet: 30,000 BTU 2,000 up to 2,500 sq. feet: 34,000 BTU
Next, you can use the chart below to determine the general capacity your unit should be rated for:
Area to be Cooled (square feet)
|100 – 150||5000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|150 – 250||6000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|250 – 300||7000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|300 – 350||8000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|350 – 400||9000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|400 – 450||10000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|450 – 550||12000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|550 – 700||14000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|700 -1000||18000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|1000 – 1200||21000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|1200 – 1400||23000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|1400 – 1500||24000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|1500 – 2000||30000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
|2000 – 2500||34000 Capacity (BTU’s)|
Finally, you should consider the following variables when increasing or decreasing your unit’s power rating (as shown above):
Reduce capacity by 10% if the space is usually shaded.
Raise capacity by 10% if the space is usually sunny. If the room is usually occupied by more than two people, add 600 BTUs for each additional person.