Quality and Affordable Air Conditioning in Pensacola and the Emerald Coast • Lic. # RA13067241

What Size AC Do I Need?

If you’re in the market for an AC unit for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming to sift through all of your seemingly endless options. Having a better understanding of one of the most important factors in selecting a new air conditioner will help you narrow down your search and ensure you choose the right AC for your home. Let’s go over what AC size means and how to figure out what size AC you need.

What is AC size?

When comparing air conditioner sizes, we’re not comparing the physical size of the unit but the size of space it can cool. This is called the cooling capacity, and it’s often represented by tonnage (1 ton, 1.5 ton, etc.) or British Thermal Units per Hour (BTUh). These measurements tell us what the air conditioner’s cooling capacity is over an hour, which tells you as a potential buyer whether an AC unit is powerful enough to cool your home properly.

BTUh vs. BTU

If you’ve already done a bit of research, you may be wondering, “What is BTU then?” When searching online, you’ll see a lot of information about BTUs but not BTUh. It’s important to understand that BTUh and BTU mean different things but are often used synonymously. You’ll more commonly find AC size measurements referred to using BTU than BTUh.

How to Calculate AC Size

Determining the best AC size for your home is about much more than how big your house is. Your HVAC company will conduct a load calculation called the Manual J calculation to determine your home’s ideal AC size based on a wide variety of factors. These include:

  • Square footage
  • Number of residents
  • Insulation quality
  • Climate and weather conditions
  • Amount and type of windows and doors
  • Amount of sun exposure
  • Type of siding
  • Ductwork condition
  • The number of heat-generating appliances (stove, dishwasher, etc.)

If you haven’t found a company for your AC installation yet but want to explore some AC options, you can get a rough estimate of the proper AC size using an online BTU calculator, which guides you through the long, complicated process of a Manual J calculation. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these calculators are prone to inaccuracy, and a licensed HVAC technician is the best person for the job.

Bigger Doesn’t Mean Better

It can be tempting to go for a bigger AC unit than necessary because logic typically tells us bigger is better. However, a bigger air conditioner won’t have enough space to cool, resulting in short, frequent cycling and too much wear on the system over a short period of time. Getting an air conditioner that’s too big will result in an early replacement.

Similarly, an AC that’s too small will never be able to provide adequate cooling to keep you comfortable, and it will have to work much harder to keep up with your cooling needs. This will also result in undue stress on the system. When it comes to your new AC, choose a unit that is properly sized for your home.

Contact Express Air Conditioning and Heating today for more information or to get started on your new AC installation.

Why We're Different

Our Customers in and around Pensacola know they can trust us with their households repair needs. You can be confident when one of our servicemen visits you house, you will receive top-notch, professional service that is second to one.

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Our Technicians are knowledgeable, skilled and proficient and they can repair any households appliance, AC, or heating unit. When we come to your house to make repairs, you know you're getting the best in the industry.
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Our prices won't break your bank. No one wants to take out a second mortgage to repair their air conditioner or stove, so we make things easier for you by giving you the best service at the lowest possible prices.
We make a customer service a top priority. Other appliance repair companies take forever to arrive, and when they finally get there, they don't fix it right. At Express Air Now, we'll come to your house to make the repairs when you need them not when it's convenient with us. And rest assured we'll fix it right in the first time.

What Our Customers Say

Very Satisfied

Kerry came out and check out our AC and gave us a report, was very happy with his work and look forward to getting serviced in the future with these guys. Very satisfied.

Chase Miller

Knowledgable and Quick

Excellent service and an abundance of knowledge. Found problem rather quickly and got the job done with no obstacles to hold him back.

Charles Olson

Prompt Service

Prompt, courteous, professional service. Quickly located and corrected problem. Would highly recommend.

Bryan Martinez

Highly Recommend

Awesome service, arrived on time diagnosed my problem and got me up in running in no time at all. Highly recommend their services.

Jamie Ledger

Quick and Professional

Kerry was great! Our AC went out last night and Express was here within hours and fixed it very quickly! I’ve been using Express for years and highly recommend them!

Trey Rumley

Excellent Service

Excellent service! Came out late on a Friday evening and finished the job promptly on Monday. Thrilled to have our AC unit back up and running!

Eve Carey