How to choose a central air conditioner that is properly sizedThe size of your central air conditioner depends not only on the size of the space you want to cool, but also on the following factors:
- How many windows there are in your house
- How much shade cover your home receives and where
- How well your home is insulated
- How much heat is generated by your appliances and the occupants of your house
How to choose a room air conditioner that is properly sizedIf a room air conditioner is too small or too large, it will not cool as effectively. Installing a big unit with a larger Btu than necessary will cause it to cycle off too quickly without removing humidity from the air. Likewise, an air conditioner with a smaller Btu than needed will run continuously, wasting energy while not cooling efficiently. Installing a unit that fits your room size is the most efficient and effective way to dehumidify the air.
ENERGY STAR provides an excellent step-by-step description of how to calculate your room A/C needs. There are extra tips at the end to accommodate for sun, shade, appliances, and occupants.
Choosing an air conditioner that is properly sized helps you go green because
- It increases the efficiency of your cooling system, thereby saving energy and preventing greenhouse gas emissions.
The choice between a central cooling system and a window unit should be based on a household's necessities and preferences. A window unit is less expensive to operate for cooling a single room, but is typically less efficient than central A/C for cooling the whole house. A central cooling system may be more appropriate if many rooms in the house are used often.
- Btu (British Thermal Unit) A unit of energy used universally in the heating and cooling industries. It is defined as the unit of heat required to raise 1 pound of water by 1° F.