Not Too Much, Not Too Little – Getting Your AC Measurement Just RightJason Siddall
Have you been suffering through another torturous summer? Sometimes the sun feels like your living room sits within the 7th circle of hell, and other times the humidity is just unbearable. Yes, after the thrill of the December holidays, the heat of summer gets a little tedious.
If you’re shopping for a new air-conditioner or thinking of upgrading your old one, then you may be interested in the facts around efficient AC measurements.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an AC Unit
We have all heard of the term “BTU” in reference to sizing your aircon system. This is probably the key factor on which the rest of your decisions rest. Other elements such as the energy efficiency of your AC unit play a supporting role. Let’s dig into this to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you need.
What Does BTU Mean?
British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the industry measurement for the size of the AC unit you should be installing in your home or office.
In geek speak, a BTU is a measurement of exactly how much energy is needed to increase (or heat) the temperature of a single pound of water by one degree. (The British still work in imperial measurements so we’ll stick to this for simplicity’s sake.)
This calculation is the basis of your comfort level and represents the cooling capacity of an air-conditioning system.
The BTU capacity of the unit that you choose depends on the size and function of your room. Obviously, calling in the professionals would be first prize as they have specific formulae which quickly determine the required BTU of your space.
An online calculator can be found here if you’re not the patient sort.
Factors Affecting Your AC Measurements
Logically, not all rooms are created equal. What factors will play an additional part in your choice of aircon?
- The shape of the room
- The ceiling height (standard residential ceilings are around 3m)
- The use of the room: Kitchens and server rooms, for example, generate more heat than a normal sitting room
- The number and size of windows and doors into the room
- Shade from outside foliage
- Room direction and exposure
- Local climate
It may be that you need to talk to a professional air-conditioning company before making your final decision.
Why is that?
Too Big or Too Small?
You may just think to go out and get the biggest unit that you can find – that’s bound to do the job, right?
Actually, no. A unit that is either too big or too small for the space you’re cooling comes with its own set of issues.
If your aircon capacity is too small, you’ll find that it’ll run continuously and will have to work extra hard to perform its desired function. In this instance, you are looking at higher energy costs and a shorter life span.
Installing an AC unit that is too big for the space will certainly cool it quickly but will be turning on and off more frequently. In addition, in humid climates, you will find that the room may be cool but will still be humid and clammy. The thermostat will be telling the AC unit that the temperature is correct and shutting down before the system has run for enough time to filter out the ambient humidity.
You Just Want to Be Cool?
Yes, things can get a bit complex and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for a cool, comfortable space. If these AC measurements and mitigating factors are all just too much to get your head around, don’t stress. Rather chat with the Toshiba team who are more than capable of determining your needs and giving you the best option for your space and budget.