Posted on May 7, 2014

In many ways, purchasing a new air conditioning system is like shopping for a car. You have hundreds of options, but only a few models will fit your particular needs. Here are some things you need to know before you decide on a new make and model to bring home.

AC Load Calculations 101

Central air conditioners are measured in tons, but in this case, tons don’t refer to weight. Every air conditioning ton is equal to 12,000 BTU/h of cooling capacity, and typical home systems range from 2 to 5 tons. Your home’s cooling requirements depend on several factors:

  • Your home’s size largely determines your air conditioner’s tonnage. Multiply your home’s square footage by the average ceiling height — for example, a 2,000-square-foot home with 8-foot ceilings would have a total size of 16,000 cubic feet.
  • Multiply this number by three for your home’s basic BTU/h requirement, which would be 54,000 BTU/h in this scenario.
  • Add 400 BTU/h for every occupant.
  • Measure all of your windows, and calculate their area in square inches. Multiply the surface area of all the north-facing windows by 0.55 and south-facing windows by 0.1. Add these numbers to your BTU/h requirements.
  • Divide this number by 12,000 for your home’s AC tonnage.

Keep in mind that other factors such as insulation, window quality, duct performance and lighting wattage can change your cooling load. You’ll want a professional estimate from a qualified contractor who performs load calculations according to HVAC industry standards. Don’t select or purchase a new system without a professional estimate. Doing so can result in a purchase that’s wrong for you home and ends up costing you more over the long haul.

Choosing a New Cooling System

At Grizzle Heating & Air, we carry three basic types of cooling systems, all of which provide exceptional year-round cooling:

Air Conditioners

If you already own a central AC system, a new central AC installation is surprisingly affordable. With most of the ducts and wiring already in place, you’ll pay minimal labor costs, and newer models are more energy efficient than ever before. Some of the most advanced systems have SEER ratings above 20, which was practically unthinkable a decade ago. However, you’ll need to purchase a new furnace or boiler to provide heating on cold winter days.

Heat Pumps

A heat pump is very similar to a central AC system, but it can transfer heat in both directions. You’ll receive cooling in the summer, but you’ll also receive heating in the winter, and you might not even need a dedicated furnace for auxiliary heating. Because heat pumps and air conditioners are similar, it’s very easy to replace your central AC with a heat pump system.

Geothermal Systems

Looking for the most energy efficient heating and cooling system available? Look no further than a geothermal system that keeps your home a comfortable temperature while using a fraction of the energy of a conventional air conditioner. Even though the outdoor temperature might be blazing hot or freezing cold, the ground is a near-constant temperature just a few feet below the surface. A geothermal pump taps into that constant temperature and can save you up to 40 percent on your heating and cooling bills.

Protecting Your Investment

A new cooling system costs thousands of dollars, and you’ll want to take care of it just like any other piece of equipment. Ask about our long-term service agreement, which fine tunes your air conditioner every year to keep it running as efficiently as possible.

And, if you’re hoping to purchase a brand new air conditioner in Canyon, TX, Grizzle Heating & Air is here to serve. Just call us today to find out about the full range of services we offer to help you keep your cool.