Do I need a 3-Ton Air Conditioner? Picking The Right Size AC Unit

By // 2014.05.27

Big and smallOne of the hardest things for any home owner to do themselves is find the right sized air conditioner to keep their home cool during those hot summer months in Arizona. However, the biggest mistake that some homeowners make is they assume that they’ll need a 3-ton air conditioner in order to keep their homes comfortable all summer long. But just like buying a pair of pants, one size does not fit all. In fact, by not taking the right steps to determine the correct size of AC system for your specific home, it could cost you a lot of money down the road.

In order to provide you with factual information to make an informed decision as to what sized AC system you should install for your home, keep reading.

Three Steps To Select The Right Sized AC System The First Time

Step #1 – Call in the Professionals

Picking a replacement HVAC system is not – and should not be – a DIY project. It might seem very easy to look on the owner manual of your old 3-ton AC unit and state – “all I need is the same thing”. The truth is, this could cause you a ton (sorry about the pun) of problems.

Today’s modern AC systems are much more efficient than older units. This is why professional HVAC companies always start any sizing with what’s known as a “load calculation process”. This mathematical process takes several specific elements into determining the correct sized system for your specific home including:

  • Total square footage of the home
  • How many floors and livable space the home has inside
  • How many windows and doors a home has; and also considers the location (for example; if they are facing east, west, north or south)
  • Flooring options (hardwood, carpet, tile) and ceiling options
  • Insulation type, size, shape, material, location and other critical elements
  • And Outdoor landscaping is also considered when factoring in load calculations

As you can see, these specific elements are critical to determining exactly what sized system you need for your home. This is why you should always defer to a professional HVAC contractor to perform a load calculation to find the right sized system.

Step #2 – Shop Around for Energy Star Units

After you’ve had a load calculation completed, and determined what sized system you should purchase, the next step is shopping around to find the most efficient unit. This often begins with Energy Star® rated AC systems. An Energy Star® rated unit is manufactured to be highly energy efficient within its specific category. There are, however, different categories of AC systems for home owners to consider as well, including:

  • Heat pump systems
  • Split Air Conditioning Systems
  • Variable Speed AC units
  • All Purpose HVAC units

The key is to find the most energy efficient system within each segment that will save you money each month on utility bills and also will keep your home comfortable and clean during those hot summer months.

As you can see, answering the question about needing a 3-ton air conditioner is not as easy as you’d think. The best advice we can offer is to always begin any search for the right sized AC system by contacting a dependable and licensed HVAC company in Phoenix Arizona. It will save you a tremendous amount of time and resources in the end.

Read more articles about Air Conditioning Units:

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Chris Hays

Chris and Stacia Hays, are the owners of Hays Cooling and Heating; a family owned and operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling and Heating focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact, Chris or Stacia today at (602) 714-8270.

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