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When you’re ready to buy a replacement air conditioner you will need a professional AC contractor to accurately determine the correct size air conditioner for you particular home’s need. Any contractor you hire should calculate the size of the cooling equipment you need by using such recognized methods as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J. A professional air conditioning technician will assess the square footage of your home, ceiling height, sun exposure, climate and insulation in your home in order to calculate the heat load. All of those factors are used to properly determine your air conditioning and heating needs.
There is a popular misconception that having a larger AC unit will cool better. Not true! When the air conditioning system is too big it will cool the area too quickly without having enough time remove enough moisture. You will be left with a cold and clammy indoor environment.
On the other hand, an air conditioner that’s too small won’t do a good job cooling your home and will be more expensive to run. When you install central air conditioning, size matters. Underestimate your cooling needs, and you could be sweating. Buy more power than you need and your living space may become cold and dank.
If you live in a colder climate you may already have ductwork for your heating, adding a central system can cost less. But keep in mind that ducts used for heating might not be the right size or in the right location for optimal cooling.
Your contractor should use a duct-sizing method such as the ACCA Manual D. The pros should make sure that all duct sections are properly sized and that there are enough supply registers to deliver sufficient air flow to the right places. Not only is the proper size ductwork essential for meeting each room’s heating and air conditioning needs but also because undersized ductwork can make for noisy operation. Leaky ductwork or ducts with insufficient insulation can reduce system efficiency considerably. All joints and seams must be sealed and not with duct tape that can dry and fall off.
If your home doesn’t have ducts, adding them can be expensive, though if you plan to cool your entire home, central air is typically the best choice. If you are not planning to cool the entire home, you might want to consider a split-ductless system. Unlike central systems, split-ductless systems need no ductwork (though they require connections for electrical, refrigerant and condensate drains), making them easier to add to homes with designs that aren’t conducive to installing ductwork.
It would not be practical to guesstimate the correct size central air conditioning system because there are so many variables to consider, including a home’s size and design, and how the air-conditioning unit is installed. In fact, a significant variable affecting performance is the quality and construction of the duct distribution system. Poorly designed or installed ductwork can cause improper cooling, noise and even equipment failure. Instead, to help you make an informed choice we strongly recommend you contact Universal Air and Heat, a licensed, professional HVAC contractor, we can determine the correct air conditioning equipment for your home and assist in choosing the perfect heating and cooling system that meets both your needs and budget.
Call Universal Air and Heat for your FREE ” no-obligation” air conditioning estimate today!
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