How to Improve Your AC Results by Knowing the BTU for aRoom Size
Understanding air conditioners and how they're rated can bea challenge. To the average consumer an air conditioning unit looks like a metalor plastic box that blows cold air out of the front or sides. Most consumersmake the mistake of confusing the importance of watts versus the importance ofBTUs. There is a difference and it's important to understand what the differenceis so you can cool your home properly. Simple wattage is not an accurateindicator of how effective an AC is.
If you want to know how much power is needed to run an AClook at the watts, voltage, and amperage. These are measurements of power usage.Air conditioners are rated by how much heat they can remove from a space perhour. Their cooling power measured by BTUs or British Thermal Units. It's ascientific measurement of how much energy is required to cool a single pound ofwater by one degree Fahrenheit.
Typically the BTU measurement is located on the airconditioner, along with other information, on the side or back of the unit.Usually the BTU on the unit is a measurement of BTU/hour. The higher the numberof BTU, the stronger the cooling power. For this reason, many consumers believeit better to buy an AC with a higher BTU rating. However, it's important toconsider efficiency and comfort over excessive power.
If you purchase a unit with the highest possible BTUrating, it may actually cause the unit operate inefficiently. That's why theBTUfor a room size is so important. If the air conditioners BTU rating is too high for the room it might waste energy cooling it beyond its capacity before itshuts off. If the unit is undersized it will have to work too hard to cool offthe space and keep you comfortable, thus costing way too much money to run.
The best way to measure your room for the best possibleresults is to multiply the length, width, and height of the room. This providesyou with proper guidelines needed to determine how much BTU is required.Depending on room conditions, you might want to increase the BTU rating. Howmany windows are in the room and whether or not the room is insulated areimportant factors to consider, too. However, normally, the size of the room isthe best indicator of how much BTU you need.
EnergyStar.Gov provides the following basic guideline forroom sizing.
- 5,000 BTU cools up to 150 sq. ft.
- 8,000 BTU cools up to 350 sq. ft.
- 10,000 BTU cools up to 450 sq. ft.
- 12,000 BTUs cools up to 550 sq. ft.
- 14,000 BTUs cools up to 700 sq. ft.
Air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from theroom. If the unit is not properly sized it will cool the room quickly but onlyremove some humidity. A properly sized AC will remove humidity effectively as itcools.
- Before making your purchase, make adjustments for thefollowing circumstances:
- Reduce the capacity 10% if the room is heavily shaded
- Increase the capacity by 10% if sunny
- Increase capacity by 4,000 BTU if the unit will be in thekitchen
- Increase capacity by 600 BTU if more than two peopleoccupy the room
Once you've sized and installed your AC maintain it properly for the bestpossible results
Did you know that heating and cooling comprise 40% of theaverage citizen's energy consumption? To reduce electrical bills and increaseefficiency follow the simple guide below.
- One of the biggest problems with efficiency is improperuse. Make sure your windows and doors are closed when operating your unit
- Another factor is poor installation, faulty serviceprocedures, and inadequate maintenance
- It's important to keep the unit clean. Clean filters atleast once a month. Change them as indicated by the manufacturer
- Be sure that ventilation fins are open properly
- Increase the thermostat at night or when you're not home soit doesn't run excessively. This keeps energy use down
- Use ceiling fans to help distribute cooler air
- Ventilate the attic. A cooler attic can help lower theinternal temperature of the house by as much as 10 degrees
- Once this is determined improving AC results is easy
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