When it comes to choosing an HVAC unit for your Florida home, bigger isn’t always better. As you might expect, a bigger HVAC system will heat or cool an indoor space very quickly, known as short cycling. However, it’s not as efficient as you may expect. That’s because the short cycling interferes with its ability to dehumidify the indoor space effectively. Also, any energy savings will most likely be negated by the higher equipment cost.
On the other hand, an undersized unit isn’t better either. A unit that is too small for the home will take longer to reach and maintain the desired temperature, significantly increasing energy costs. The increased wear will also result in more frequent repairs and even premature replacement. You will also notice that your home is more humid and uncomfortable, especially on those hot summer days that are common here in Lake Wales and Polk County.
What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
So, how do you determine the right-size HVAC unit for your home? Our expert heating and cooling specialists consider several factors when determining the right-size unit for a home, such as the type of air conditioning system, square footage, ductwork, and ceiling height, for example. We then use this information to calculate the amount of energy or British Thermal Units (BTUs) required by an HVAC unit to cool the space efficiently. Once we have a base BTU, we can then calculate the tonnage to determine the right-size HVAC unit your home will need. Most residential HVAC units will range in size from 1 to 5 tons.
For example, a home with 2,000 square feet under air and standard ceiling height would require approximately 40,000 BTUs of energy (2000 x 20 BTUs/sqft.) to cool the home, which equates to about 3.3 tons (40,000 / 12,000 BTUs/ton), which means that a 3.5-ton A/C system would be the right-size unit in this example. However, this doesn’t consider doors, windows, and sun exposure, which is also vital in determining the right-size HVAC unit for your home.
two heavy duty iindustrical size air conditioner units
Energy Efficiency – SEER Ratings
Another essential aspect in determining the right-size A/C unit is its energy efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy developed the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) to help consumers understand an air conditioning system’s energy efficiency – or the amount of energy an air conditioner will use during the cooling season. HVAC units with higher SEER ratings have higher energy efficiency and lower energy costs. Also, A/C systems in Florida must have a minimum 14-SEER and typically range up to 22-SEER. HVAC units with the highest SEER ratings usually feature a variable speed compressor to maximize indoor comfort. They offer more consistent indoor temperatures that help avoid having some rooms that are warmer or colder than others which is a common issue in less efficient or undersized units.
Finding the Right-Size HVAC Unit for Your Home
Whether you are buying an HVAC unit for a new Polk County, FL, home or replacing an older air conditioning system, our trained and knowledgeable HVAC specialists will help you select the right-size unit for your home and budget. Contact us today!