Buying An Air Conditioner: What Size Should I Get?

Air conditioner

With the heat increasing, it’s time to replace your old air conditioner, but there are so many variables to consider! Plus, when scrolling through endless options, it gets intimidating, so let’s break it down into a few key components. 

The first thing to consider is what size of an air conditioner is best suited to you. This consideration might not seem important, but one of the most common financial blunders is getting the wrong size for your needs. 

What Does the Wrong Size of Air Conditioner Mean? 

With new, more efficient machines coming into the market regularly, it becomes impossible to get the same model when attempting to replace your AC, especially if you’ve had the same one for the last decade or so. A well — versed home comfort technician will need to come in and advise you on what best to purchase. Not calling in a consultant, or using one from a cheap, unreliable source, may result in the wrong size, leading to expensive, troubling results. 

These are some of the things that can happen if you end up with an AC that isn’t precisely your fit: 

  1. It Won’t Cool Efficiently

An AC that’s too big will keep shutting on and off as the temperature changes, resulting in some pleasant spots, but not enough active cooling for your home temperature to be enjoyable. Since your AC also controls humidity, and an AC that’s too big isn’t running long enough, you’ll be left with clammy air that isn’t correctly cool either. 

An AC that’s too small, meanwhile, will run near — continuously, laboring to cool your home, and thus using far too much power, but won’t be able to cool, simply because it’s in waters far beyond its depths.
An AC that’s suited to your needs, in comparison, will run without fluctuating or working too hard and will be able to reach and maintain the set temperature easily. An AC correctly chosen will be able to do this throughout summer without a hitch. 

  1. More Strain and More Breakdowns

An AC that’s too large will keep switching on and off (aka ‘short cycling’), and so it’ll exert a lot more strain on its system. This stress causes more system collapses, leading to more money and time wasted on fixing the problem. 

With an AC that’s too small, there are more breakdowns also; this is because the AC is working all the time, and hence using more energy and work to run until it is simply too tired to run anymore. 

An air conditioner that is exactly right for your usage, unlike the previous two, will run ceaselessly and without problems. This means that you are effectively and safely cooling your home, and you will only have to call us for repairs once in a blue moon, or the yearly tuning. 

  1. Spending Way Too Much on Bills

With Texas HVAC Systems that is unsuited to your needs, whether too large or too small, the electric bill you’ll have to front will be ridiculously high. This is because, whether the AC is short — cycling or running all the time, it’s using more energy than required, and, without the proper fit for your home, this becomes a very highly priced cycle. 

With an air conditioner that’s the perfect size for you, you’ll be able to stay cool with a significantly lower bill. Some newer air conditioners, such as the Carrier and Lennox air conditioners, are more efficient, and function on the energy conservation principle, thereby saving you money. 

  1. A Much Shorter Life on Your AC

Whether your air conditioner is too big or too small, the ever-present breakdowns and repairs result in both a hike in bills and a decrease in longevity for your AC. An air conditioner should typically last between 10 and 15 years, but these will pack up much sooner, meaning having to find a replacement within a few years (if you’re lucky) of your new purchase. 

Meanwhile, an air conditioner that’s correctly sized for your home can last you even beyond the 15-year mark, provided there was proper care, which means your investment indeed was a smart one. 

These consequences sound terrible, and that’s because they are. To avoid them, we urge you to get a professional consultant in. 

How Do You Determine the Size of Air Conditioner I Need? 

When finding the right size for you, there are a few key components we look at: 

  1. Square Footage

Fairly self — explanatory; the larger your house, the larger your air conditioner needs to be; otherwise, it won’t reach every area. The general rule of thumb is 1 ton of cooling capacity for every 500 feet, but only going on square footage alone isn’t enough. 

  1. Insulation and Ductwork

Insulation keeps an area airtight and hence makes cooling more efficient. Therefore, a house with poor or no insulation has to be taken into consideration in our calculations, as does a home with faulty ductwork (as well as the general layout of the ductwork itself). 

  1. Weather

Summer is great, and comes with a lot of perks, but also brings sticky, humid, and sweltering days. A TX Air Conditioner needs to be able to keep your home temperate in the severe weather, which is something we also bear in mind in our calculations. 

  1. Greenery and Windows

Your windows play a significant role in deciding the appropriate air conditioner size. From the size of one window to the number of windows and the direction of each, all must be considered when deciding on an air conditioner. Multiple southern windows mean a warmer house during the day, and so you need a more powerful AC to combat the heating effects of the sun. 

Meanwhile, a yard or garden with greenery and trees that provide shade result in an overall cooling effect, meaning a smaller or less powerful AC can also get the job done. 

We make sure to take everything into account, to make sure the result is a comfortable home, with the perfect AC, without the trial and error. 

Another thing to glance at is Multiple Zones. If there are or can potentially be multiple cooling zones in your home, the size of your air conditioner will change. 

Save Money, Time, and Hassle by Working with Ist Choice Mechanical

Ist Choice Mechanical is the top choice for Denver HVAC repairs, ensuring you save money, time, and hassle. Our skilled technicians will thoroughly evaluate your air conditioning system, leaving you with the peace of mind that your home or building will be a cool and comfortable oasis during the hot summer months. With our affordable prices and exceptional discounts, you can rest assured that you are getting the best value for your money. Don’t let HVAC issues disrupt your summer plans – let Ist Choice Mechanical handle your Denver HVAC repair needs today!

About Central Air Conditioning

According to statistics, nearly 80% of new US homes are built with central air conditioning. This was not common a few decades ago, but homebuyer expectations have changed drastically. People in older homes don’t have to worry if they are currently living without central AC. It is still possible to install this after house construction. 

Those searching for a central air conditioning unit should remember a few things while shopping. It is crucial to have the cooling system installed by a qualified contractor. 

Cost is a big topic in any discussion about central air conditioning systems. If you want to save money through efficient energy use, pay attention to SEER. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio measures the cooling unit’s ability to use energy efficiently. By upgrading from an old energy-hungry AC to a new high-SEER unit, households can drastically reduce electric bills. The green movement has challenged HVAC manufacturers to develop energy-efficient solutions, and they have responded well with new units that raise the standards and minimize operating costs. 

Homeowners need to consult specialists to study the cooling requirements, design an appropriate solution, and install the air conditioning equipment. Hire a contractor with an excellent reputation for installing residential cooling systems. For bigger homes, it is often necessary to use centralized air conditioning, which is complex and difficult to install. Get an air conditioner that meets your needs based on the size of your home and the amount you have set aside in your budget. 


Picking an Air Conditioner and Installer 

Despite the availability of other cooling systems, most homes gravitate towards central air conditioning. This setup is excellent if you wish to cool down the entire home since air ducts can push cold air into every room. It doesn’t matter if the doors are closed or open since the conditioned air can enter through their pathways. Check out the offerings from different manufacturers. Find a unit that can fit within your budget and provide your requirements. Get three quotes from reputable businesses specializing in AC supply and installation. Compare and contrast until you find the best solution among them. 

Just remember that most of these companies will have ties to particular manufacturers. These partnerships can skew their recommendations for brands that provide better profits. That is why homeowners should do their research about competing brands. This should improve the chances of getting a good system instead of being pressured into certain units. 

Central air conditioning systems have a condenser unit usually located outdoors in the backyard. Strategic placement is important because the regional climate, sun exposure, window area, and house design will affect AC performance. A specialist can guide homeowners on proper installation. Installers should conduct a thorough inspection of the rooms containing diffusers and the ceiling space. Experienced personnel knows these are crucial since not all ceilings can accommodate the ducts necessary to supply cold air. They might have to make many adjustments to make all of the ductwork fit, which can push up the cost. It should also be noted that the cooling system will cause a drastic rise in the electrical load. Some homes may not be able to accommodate this right away. They will require an upgrade of their mains to prevent overloading. This is another factor that can push installation costs up. 

Air Conditioning System Maintenance 

Proper maintenance is necessary to ensure that a residential central air conditioning system lasts as long as possible. Ensuring that the heating and cooling systems run well is an ongoing task for homeowners. AC units make our lives so comfortable that it is difficult to imagine going without them. However, people tend to neglect these until problems arise that force them to pay attention. 

Air conditioner maintenance basics such as regular cleaning are also good for improving the unit’s efficiency. Owners of central AC systems should keep an eye on the outdoor compressor. Clean this frequently since it is prone to dust and debris. The indoor return air filters should also be cleaned to prevent clogs and ensure smooth airflow to the house. These should be easy tasks for homeowners who want their AC to last as long as possible. 

As long as you stay diligent in performing these simple maintenance tasks, you should be able to enjoy more than a decade of continuous service from your central air conditioning system. 

HVAC Installation – What To Expect

Although the overwhelming array of options, resources and prices can make it seem tempting to install your new air conditioner yourself, that’s probably not a good idea unless you are an expert. If you try to install your AC system and you don’t know what you are doing, it can actually be dangerous, and can also make your system less efficient.

It’s always best to trust the installation of your central AC system to an experienced and licensed technician. However, you’ll want to have some understanding of the installation process and know what to expect in the way of prices.

Types of Central AC Units

The split system, which has components indoors and outdoors, is the most widely used type of central AC in the US. Refrigerant lines connect the exterior metal box that houses the compressor and condenser coil to the interior unit, which contains the evaporator coil and blower.

Also common is the heat pump, which also has an exterior component and an indoor unit. A heat pump basically works by either depositing heat into the earth or extracting heat from the earth, to cool or heat your home as needed.

If you have what’s known as a packaged air conditioner, it’s probably located just outside your office or home, or perhaps on the roof. These AC units combine a heat pump with electric air conditioning, and their benefits include a small footprint, which is important for anyone concerned about the environment, along with flexibility when it comes to installation.

If your home or workplace doesn’t have ducting, a ductless system may be the answer. They work by connecting an outdoor heat pump or air conditioner to air handling units that are in a room or rooms. The advantages of a ductless mini-split system include more control over your temperature and energy use, as each room in your home receives cool air independently of the other rooms.

Other Factors To Consider

It costs money to install ductwork in your home or office if you don’t already have it in place, and it also takes up space. So if you don’t already have ductwork in place, a ductless AC unit is often the answer.

However, even if you do have ductwork in place, the ducts may need to be altered or repaired to accommodate any new air conditioner you plan to install. Duct sealing may be needed to safely support the new central AC unit, or you may need to install extra duct runs alongside those already in place.

Indoor Air Quality

You may find that your indoor environment or the climate you live in calls for more dehumidification than that which is provided by your current air conditioner. If the quality of the air is an important factor for you, a whole home dehumidifier may be the answer. And you may want to consider adding on a whole-home air purifier too if your home has a problem with indoor contaminated air.

Working With An HVAC Contractor

A reliable and legitimate air conditioning company will help to guide you through the entire process of installing a new unit and answer any questions you have. Your budget, level of comfort preferred and size of the home will all play a part in helping to choose the ideal central AC system, and a reputable HVAC technician will take any other factors into consideration too. Contact a few companies for an estimate, once you have a few names that you feel will get the job done.

Choosing the Right Installer

To get an accurate idea of your costs, ask for a quote for the work that includes all the equipment; any good HVAC company will supply this when asked. Both the labor and equipment costs should be covered under warranty.

It’s always recommended to meet with the technician you chose for your AC work, or at least with a representative. It’s a good opportunity to get a timeline for the work, schedule a date and make sure that any equipment has been ordered.

Chicago HVAC Solutions

In Chicago, it’s imperative to find a company that understands the different type of climate our city has from many southern climates.  Chicago can face extreme cold to extreme heat and then extreme humidity. You need a local HVAC company that understands what this can do to your HVAC system and knows how best to install your units and the best methods of preventative maintenance.

The Installation Process

Although this can vary between contractors, expect your installation day to look something like this:

Most contractors will obtain any permits that might be required from your local government; you typically won’t have to do that yourself.

Any duct repairs will be carried out, or new ducts installed if necessary. Your existing air conditioner will be dismantled and removed.

Rooftop supports for a packaged system or an exterior concrete pad outside your home may be needed, and preparing the site for installation is an important part of the process.

You don’t necessarily have to have the indoor air handler replaced if you have your exterior unit replaced, although many homeowners consider it makes sense to have them both replaced at the same time. Regardless, part of the responsibilities of your HVAC contractor is to make sure the indoor and outdoor units are connected correctly and safely.
This means taking care of electrical lines, drain piping and refrigerant lines.

You may choose to install a new thermostat or have the existing one connected to the central AC unit.

Your technician will also make sure the new AC unit is filled with refrigerant and will remove any contaminants from the refrigerant lines.

And of course, you want to be sure everything is working as it should; your technician will make sure the system is working as it should and carry out an installation inspection.

Finding An Air Conditioning Technician

As you want to make sure you choose the right AC unit for your needs, it’s important to find a skilled and experienced HVAC contractor who can help you select the right unit for your needs. Efficiency levels, types of system and size are all things to consider, and any good technician should take the time to answer your questions during the process.

The easy to use contractor directory at can help you find the right locally based AC contractor for your next job. You’ll be connected with a reliable and recommended air conditioning technician, once you complete the contact form.