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How to Estimate A/C Size For Your Denver Home

March 14, 2017

Many Denver homeowners ask us, “What size air conditioner should I get?”

Well, this is what we tell them: it depends. And you’ll need a technician to figure out your air conditioner’s size because there are so many complex calculations involved.

While some people go by a simple “rule of thumb” approach (looking at their home’s square footage, that isn’t very accurate method. What’s worse, using a rules of thumb can cause some costly problems down the road.

Let’s look at why A/C sizing is important and how a technician calculates air conditioner size:

Why you need the right size A/C for your home

An air conditioner that’s too small won’t be able to cool your home sufficiently, and it will run constantly. This shortens the lifespan of your unit.

On the other hand, an air conditioner that’s too big will short cycle. Short cycling is dangerous because it can…

  • Shorten the lifespan of your A/C unit. Short cycling makes your A/C unit turn ON and OFF frequently, which wears system components and can lead to a break down.

  • Increase your monthly energy bills. It’s just like car mileage; when an A/C runs longer, it’s more fuel efficient.

  • Create uneven temperatures in your home. Since the fan isn’t running very long, it doesn’t circulate the air well in your home, so some rooms may feel hotter or colder than others.

So, how do you find the right A/C size for your home? You’ll want to hire a professional...

How a technician calculates the right A/C size for your home

Determining air conditioner size requires complex calculations. But the good news is, you don’t have to perform any of them!

That’s the job of a trained A/C technician. You’ll need to hire a certified professional to perform what’s called a Manual J Heat Load calculation. This calculation takes into account:

  • Your home’s location

  • Your home’s square footage

  • How many people live in the home

  • The insulation values of walls, attics and windows

  • Height of ceilings

  • Size and location of all rooms

  • Type of roof

  • The condition and layout of ductwork

  • And much more

Sounds complex, huh? It is, but luckily a trained professional will have the tools and knowledge necessary to crunch the numbers and find the right size air conditioner for your home.

Be wary of any A/C contractors who do not perform a Manual J Heat Load calculation before giving you an estimate. There are many factors to consider so a “rule of thumb” approach won’t accurately find the right size for your home.

Want a professional to give you an accurate A/C size estimate?

Contact Plumbline for a free A/C install estimate. As part of this free estimate, we’ll perform a Manual J Heat Load calculation—at no cost to you.

We’ve been helping Denver families stay cool since 1998.

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