samuel regan asante sddcp2h6djw unsplash

How much air conditioning power do I need in my home?

There is a wide variety of air conditioner models available on the market. The main point of difference between them is the power of each of them. Choosing the right power can really make a difference on many levels. Find out how to determine the right air conditioner capacity range for your home in Quebec.

How to make a quick calculation on the required power of an air conditioner?

The power of an air conditioner is expressed in BTU or British Thermal Unit. This is the same unit that is used to designate the power of a heat pump and that of barbecues. For air conditioners, 3414.5 BTUs represent 1 Kw/hr or 252 calories.

Basically, only a professional in the air conditioning business can make an accurate calculation of the power required to cover your entire home. Nevertheless, there are rough calculations and “universal” references that you can use to find the right power.

The “rule of thumb” is a rough, but effective method of calculating the power required for an air conditioner based on the area to be covered. Based on this method, a 12,000 BTU system for a wall-mounted air conditioner should be suitable for a living area of 1,200 square feet.

However, if it is a central air conditioner, other factors come into play. This includes the fact that the air must travel through a network of ducts, which requires you to increase the power of the air conditioner for the same area. Roughly speaking, you will need nearly 30,000 BTUs to sufficiently cover 1,200 square feet.

A few points to keep in mind regarding this calculation

Please note that there are many factors that can influence this calculation and that you must take into account. Here are some key points:

  • If the air conditioner is used only at night, you can reduce its power by 30%. The temperature is lower at night, requiring less power to cool the entire house;
  • However, if you plan to install the air conditioner in the kitchen, it’s best to plan for an additional 4,000 BTUs. Indeed, the kitchen is one of the hottest rooms in the house because of the presence of stoves, ovens and other heat sources;
  • If the room where the air conditioner is installed has a lot of sunlight, also allow for 10% more power. Conversely, if it is in the shade all day, you can reduce the power by 10%.

Why is it important to evaluate the capacity of an air conditioner before buying it?

Choosing the right air conditioner capacity is important in many ways. Find out why it’s important to determine the power requirements for your home before you buy your appliance:

  • If your air conditioner has too little power, it will run at maximum capacity all the time, increasing your electricity bills and reducing its longevity;
  • On the contrary, if you choose an air conditioner that is too powerful, not only will you have paid too much for it, but the flow of cold air will be too pronounced, creating too much of a mismatch between the air outside and inside, leading to health problems.

Some tips to follow around the purchase and installation of your air conditioner

Now that you know what size air conditioner to choose, here are some things to consider when purchasing and installing your unit. Follow these guidelines to ensure that your air conditioning system is fully functional and will last a lifetime:

  • Don’t hesitate to choose a more expensive but better quality air conditioner. This will ensure years of trouble-free operation, as well as a manufacturer’s warranty. Entry-level devices are unreliable and have a limited life span;
  • Install the outdoor unit of your air conditioner in a place protected from the sun;
  • Reduce the air conditioning in the basement to make the air less humid;
  • If your house has many floors, it will be necessary to install air diffusers to optimize your comfort and save more energy;
  • Check, clean or replace air conditioning filters annually.

Some tips to optimize the energy consumption of your air conditioner

Choosing the right wattage for your air conditioner is not enough to ensure its optimal operation. Here are a few tips on how to optimize its performance for energy savings:

  • Whenever you leave a room, be sure to always close the door behind you when your air conditioner is on. This will limit heat dissipation in the room;
  • On hot days, use appliances such as the dryer, oven and others only in the early morning or towards the evening, when the temperature is lower. This will prevent the air conditioner from working too long to regulate the internal temperature of the house;
  • During hot weather, use fans instead of air conditioners. This will avoid running it too long and save more money, since a fan consumes much less than an air conditioning system;
  • When operating your air conditioner, close the blinds and curtains on the windows so that the sun’s heat does not penetrate into the rooms exposed to the sun;
  • If you’re going to be away from home for a long period of time, turn off the air conditioning to avoid wasting energy unnecessarily.

Call on our services for all the work around your air conditioning system

At Confort Prestige, we are highly qualified professionals to carry out all the work around the air conditioning. You can, among other things, call upon our services to make an accurate calculation of the air conditioner capacity required for your home. We also assist you in the purchase of the best systems and we proceed to the installation of the devices. We offer quality services and our technicians guarantee that the work will be carried out according to the rules of the trade.