What Size AC and Heating System Do I Need for My House?

Size matters. Many Durham homeowners ask us about their HVAC and whether it’s the right fit for their house.

Many Durham homeowners ask us about their HVAC and whether it’s the right fit for their house. However, there are several factors involved in choosing the right size AC unit for your home. 

in choosing the right size AC unit for your home. 

First, bigger isn’t always better. Consumers often think that having a bigger system is a simple solution to cooling or heating a place faster, but that is not the case. If your AC system is too big, it could start and stop more frequently than it’s supposed to, which is called short-cycling. This start-stop cycle causes high electric bills and uneven room temperatures. 

Additionally, a system that is too small will also cost you by running non-stop. A single AC ton equals 12,000 BTU per hour, which can cool up to 500 square feet. But there are a few other things to consider when deciding the right size for your home, so you don’t find yourself dealing with an expensive replacement process.

Size of Home – One of the most critical and obvious factors in choosing the size of your HVAC unit is the size of your home. The size isn’t just how many square feet. The number of stories/floors your home has and the ceiling height will affect the airflow, thus changing the number of BTUs needed to efficiently cool or heat your home.  

Insulation – If your house is older, it may have been built with less insulation than homes today. Adding more can save you a decent amount of air and heating costs in the long run. However, much like it’s possible to have too large of an AC unit, it is also possible to over-insulate your home. Too much insulation can reduce the quality of the air inside your home and trap moisture in tight spaces such as an attic. One ton of cooling for every 1,000 square feet is sufficient for most homes insulated with spray foam. Generally, a smaller system is fine if your home is well insulated and has newer windows.

Number of Windows – The number and type of windows in your house will affect the size of the AC unit you need. Multi-pane or low-emissivity windows are more energy-efficient than single-pane windows and will allow a higher square footage per ton.

Construction Type – There are many intricate laws involving the construction of a home that can affect what size unit you need. Be sure to pay attention to them when undergoing any renovations or changes to the way your home was initially built. A timber frame versus wood panels or concrete form can all respond differently to an HVAC unit’s size. Consult a professional when altering the construction of your home and ask your team at 6 and Fix about the HVAC unit needed if you’re planning an expansion. 

Questions about your AC? Contact us now to stay cool this summer.