Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Air Conditioning Question : How Much Cooling Capacity Do We Need Per Square Foot of Our Home?

When you are purchasing a new air conditioner in Gaithersburg, make sure you speak with one of our air conditioning technicians to ensure that you get the right size. The size of the unit will affect the performance and the comfort of your home. Call Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating if you have questions.

The cooling capacity for an air conditioning system is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Unit), or in “tons.” There are several factors to consider when determining how many BTUs you’ll need per square foot of your home. The general rule of thumb for a home in a moderate climate is one ton (12,000 BTU) per 500 to 1000 square feet. However, this also depends on other factors.

These factors include but are not limited to the following:

  • Geographic location and amount of direct sunlight.
  • The amount of insulation and air sealing quality.
  • The number of rooms and windows.
  • The number of occupants in the home.
  • Ceiling height and air circulation.
  • Condition of other HVAC components, such as ductwork.

If you buy an air conditioner that has more BTUs than you need for your specific home and cooling preferences, the system will lower the indoor temperatures too quickly. This will cause a shorter cooling cycle than is needed to reduce the indoor relative humidity levels. In addition to cycles that are too short, the constant cycling on and off will affect comfort levels and put more stress on the components of the system, which may shorten the life of the AC system.

If you are purchasing a new home, remember that most home inspections do not include the specific calculations that are necessary in determining whether or not the cooling capacity for the home is up to par; however, inspectors are required to provide the capacity on the current system, provided that the home has an AC system in place.

Call Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating if you need any help choosing the best air conditioning system for your home comfort needs and your budget. Call us at 301-670-0034 today!