How to Choose the Right AC Unit for Your Home

article image If your HVAC unit is over ten years old, it could be time for a new one. Keep reading to learn more about installing HVACs in Watkinsville from the professionals at Premier Comfort Services.


Understanding Measurements

When you begin your search for air conditioning units, you’ll probably notice two different units of measurement: tons and BTUs. When referring to air conditioning units, a ton doesn’t indicate its actual weight, but rather its ability to cool. BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is the amount of energy required to heat or cool one pound of water by one degree. Therefore, one ton is the equivalent of heating or cooling 12,000 BTUs per hour. The size of the unit is determined by the total square-footage inside the house. A typical 3-bedroom home will usually benefit from a 2 or 2.5-ton HVAC unit. Anything over 5 tons is considered a light commercial-grade unit, typically used in small offices or stores.


Choosing the Right Size

A common misconception about AC units is that the bigger your unit, the more efficient it is; this couldn’t be further from the truth. An AC unit that's too big for your home will cycle on and off more frequently, depending on your temperature preferences. More cycling increases the wear and tear on the unit and consume more energy. A unit that's too small for your heating or cooling standards will run constantly in efforts to meet your demands. This will also run up your power bill and put greater strain on the internal parts. The perfect unit will cycle on and off at regular intervals during the days, working hard when it needs to with regular breaks between cycles. To figure out the right unit for your home, multiply the square footage of your home by 30. Divide the answer by 12,000 then subtract one for the final answer. A typical 3-bedroom, 1,500 sq ft home will need either a 2.5 or 3-ton unit.


Energy Efficiency

article image Another designation you’re likely to encounter on your search for the perfect AC unit is the SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This measurement indicates the unit’s ability to use energy efficiently according to standards set by the US Department of Energy. As of 2015, all new HVAC units must earn a SEER rating of 14 to get the blue Energy Star seal of approval. Typically, the higher the SEER rating, the more expensive the unit. But, the money you save in monthly energy costs is usually worth the investment.


Tell your HVAC installation company what you’re paying now in monthly energy bills and they’ll be able to find a unit that will help reduce those costs and fit your budget. Also, ask your technical about how installing a new unit will help reduce the costs of HVAC repairs in Watkinsville.