This Is How to Choose the Right HVAC System Size for Your Home

Many people go to great lengths to make their homes feel as pleasant as possible. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the invention of air conditioning changed the entire world for the better.

Having the right size HVAC system is one of the most important factors in having your home stay cool and comfortable. If your system is too small, it can cost you more in the long run because your energy bills will be higher. To avoid such problems, you can also design an HVAC system according to specific requirements by a certified HVAC designer.

This is how you can choose the right HVAC system size for your home.

Manual J Calculation

The first thing you should do is check your air handler. This is the part of your HVAC system that distributes the conditioned air through your home.

It’s typically located on a wall inside the heating and cooling unit itself, but it can also be placed outside if necessary.

This is a table for which you need to know the cooling and heating loads of your home. It’s listed on a label or on the inside of the air handler.

This is where you’ll be able to find out how many tons of cooling power your system should have. To calculate your total cooling load, add up the British thermal unit (BTU) ratings for every room in your house.

To elaborate, it takes approximately 1 BTU to change the temperature of approximately 30 ft.³ by 1°.

The manual J calculation will feature these BTU ratings in the form of ratings per hour (RT). For example, your living room may be rated at 5,000 RT while your dining room is rated at 3,000 RT. That means you’ll multiply 5,000 by 2 and 3,000 by 1 to get 13,000 total.

Find the installation capacity of your system in tons. The standard tonnage for residential HVAC systems is 1/2 ton, 1 ton, 1-1/2 tons, and 2 tons.

Your total cooling load will be at least one of these so you can use that to determine which size you need.

There are other factors at play that can affect it like room size and ceiling height. However, it shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with a precise measurement.

Measure Your Square Footage

You can also determine the right system size by measuring your square footage. You can use a calculator to figure this out and then divide that number by 10 to get your RT rating.

For example, if your home is 2,400 square feet, you’ll divide that by 10 to get 240 RT. You can use this number with the Manual J calculation to determine which system size you need. So, be sure that you do not neglect this obligation.

You can check out this resource to learn more about Lex Air Conditioning and Heating.

Match Your BTU Rating to a Tonnage

The last option is to find out how many tons of cooling power your HVAC system should have is to find out your BTU rating. Again, this is how many British Thermal Units of heat are produced by the amount of fuel that’s burned.

You can find it on your air conditioner or on the label inside its window. Typically, new systems come with a standard tonnage that matches the BTU rating. For example, an 18,000 BTU system will come with a 2-ton system.

If your home is too big for one ton but not big enough to need two tons, you can go up or down from there based on your needs. If it’s too small, you may want to upgrade or replace it. This is a key attribute of successful HVAC installation. So, keep this in mind when attempting to figure out the size of an HVAC system.

Regardless of which method you use, it’s important that you check how much cooling your home needs. It can be dangerous to choose an HVAC system size that isn’t right for your home, so make sure you’re careful when figuring this out.

Choose a High-Quality Unit

Finally, you should also make sure to choose a high-quality unit that matches your needs.

It’s not worth paying for something you don’t need or can’t use just because it has a better tonnage. That means choosing the right size is only part of the equation. You should also look at features like airflow patterns and energy efficiency.

You can find this information on a label inside your HVAC unit or by researching it online. There are a few key factors you need to understand if you’re going to buy a new HVAC system for your home.

You may believe that buying the right system size is as simple as adding up your square footage and choosing a tonnage based on that number.

While that’s true sometimes, it doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to which HVAC system you need for your home. It’s also imperative that you read reviews for certain units to determine whether or not the customers were satisfied. Otherwise, you might find yourself dealing with obstacles that you could have avoided.

Choosing the Right HVAC System Size Might Seem Complicated

However, it’s not nearly as difficult as you might think. The HVAC system size that is right for your home is something you can calculate by using the above guide. So, be sure that you keep the above information in mind.

You can check out the rest of our blog for other useful information about homeownership.

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