One of the more commonly asked questions we hear at Advanced HVAC in Ottawa is, “what size air conditioner do I need?”

That’s a great question to be asking, especially when looking to install air conditioning in your Ottawa home or replace your existing air conditioner, with our humid summers being second in notoriety only to our long, harsh winters (it really is a nice place to live otherwise, though, isn’t it?!).

Choosing an air conditioner is ultimately about keeping you and your family cool & comfortable in your home.

Selecting the right size air conditioner for your home, therefore, is one of the bigger decisions you’ll make for your home comfort and home HVAC needs. Let’s look at what that decision should include.

Your Home’s Cooling Needs Depend on Size, Configuration & Layout

Not every home is built equally.

That’s why there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution for home cooling & air conditioning.

Home Size Matters, But It’s Not Everything

A/C tech works on air conditioner unitThe size of your home is a significant factor in determining the size & power of air conditioner that you’ll need to stay nice and cool during those humid summer months in Ottawa. But there are many other factors.

When Advanced HVAC sends one of our experienced and friendly A/C techs out to your house to assess your air conditioning needs, they’ll look at a number of factors to arrive at a final calculation. This takes into account:

  • The total volume of your home’s living space
  • The layout of the home
  • Existing ductwork
  • How many stories you have
  • Windows – how many, facing which direction(s), etc.
  • How much shade your home gets (vs. direct sun exposure)
  • The type of construction of your home
  • Insulation & sealing

So, it’s not just a square footage figure that we’re bearing in mind.

How Air Conditioner Size & Power Works

outside air conditioner unitAir conditioners, like other appliances in the home, have a rating.

This rating focuses on cooling capacity.

  • One ton of cooling = 12000 BTU per hour
  • Average residential A/C = 2 tons / 24000 BTU per hour
  • Larger air conditioners go up to 36000 BTU/hr & beyond

In addition to the tonnage of the air conditioner, there is also a figure called SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating is a direct correlation of energy use; the higher the SEER number, the less energy used.

Energy Star certified air conditioners in Ottawa typically range from a SEER number of 12 to 23.

So I Need the Best SEER & Highest BTU for My Home’s Air Conditioning, Then?

A/C tech works on air conditioner unitSome people say it’s better to err on the side of a larger sized air conditioner.

While it’s true that an undersized A/C system will struggle to keep your home cool, we prefer not to err at all!

There is a temptation among some homeowners to go for a “bigger is better” solution for home air conditioning needs.

But that saying does not always hold true in the world of air conditioning.

An air conditioner that is too big for your home could end up running shorter (albeit more frequent on/off) cycles, but this could also mean that it’s not extracting enough moisture from your home.

In a dry climate, that’s not so bad. But in our humid climate, your Ottawa air conditioner needs to get the home to a drier, more comfortable level.

To avoid feeling “muggy,” “clammy” or even “foggy” in your home, make sure you have an air conditioner that is properly sized.

Sizing Your Ottawa Air Conditioning System

The best way to ensure you’re getting the right size air conditioner for your home’s HVAC needs is to talk to Ottawa’s air conditioning pros.

At Advanced HVAC, one of our highly capable A/C techs will visit your home, do an air conditioning assessment, talk to you about your home cooling needs, and provide you with the right size air conditioner that will keep you and your loved ones cool and comfortable throughout the Ottawa summer.

Contact us today to set up a day and time for a home air conditioning assessment.