At some point in your journey through homeownership, you’ll likely face the task of purchasing a new air conditioning system – same goes for business owners who have bought a commercial space. An air conditioner is a major purchase, so it’s important that you make the right selection – your air conditioner choice now will impact your comfort and energy bills for a decade or more.
Sizing your air conditioner appropriately is a critical factor when purchasing a new cooling system for your Cincinnati home or business. If your current system is sized correctly, purchasing a bigger unit won’t give you improved output, and going smaller won’t generate any benefits, either. But, if your current system is the wrong size, the correct size needs to be determined so you can select a new unit that will cool your home or commercial space as expected.
Manual J Load Calculations
To determine the appropriate air conditioner size for your home or building, a number of factors are considered. The following figures are used to perform a Manual J load calculation, which will determine the cooling load of your space, therefore allowing you to determine the size of air conditioning unit required to effectively cool your home or business.
- Square footage: The square footage of your home or commercial building serves as a baseline number for calculating Manual J; unfortunately, some HVAC contractors only use this number to determine air conditioner sizing.
- Building orientation: The orientation of your structure relative to the sun will help determine the amount of heat gain inside the structure caused by the Sun’s energy.
- Climate zone: Climate zone is an important factor as climate conditions will impact total energy use.
- Construction: This includes heights of ceilings, insulation R-values, and building materials used. Features such as windows, skylights, and glass doors as well as their placement affect the heat gain of the structure.
- Occupants: People add heat to a space, so the number of people in your household or the number of employees in your business will affect the cooling load, as well as appliances used indoors which put off heat, such as dryers, ovens, and computer equipment.
Failing to figure your Manual J load calculation can cause you to make a poor investment – the wrong air conditioner size will cause unnecessary energy use, increased wear and tear and repairs to the system, and higher indoor humidity from poor moisture control.
Ensure your new air conditioner is the perfect fit for your Cincinnati home or business – call the NATE-certified cooling pros at Nelson Comfort today!