Unless you are an expert in modern HVAC units and air conditioning, you might feel a bit stymied by the challenge of choosing an air conditioner for your home. After all, an air conditioner can be complicated — what’s the difference between that window model and that much more expensive central air unit? And why do each of these AC options have at least have a dozen different sizes and varieties to choose from? Air conditioner shopping, simply put, is more dizzying than it is a breath of fresh air. So when you need to choose an appropriate AC unit for your home, the thought of shopping for one — or footing the eventual bill for an installation — can make anyone predisposed to a migraine.

Fortunately, it is not as difficult as it might seem to find and select the right size of air conditioner for your home. Thanks to the insight of our full-service team of HVAC technicians, we have more than a few helpful tips to get you off to the best start possible.

Want a quick-reference guide that you can use while shopping for an AC unit or exploring service options with your HVAC provider? We have just what you’re looking for! Please download our free infographic here.

  • Measure – Start by measuring the space of the room or rooms you intend to cool with your new air conditioning unit. Will the AC installation need to reach the main level only? Multiple floors? Most of the rooms? The whole house? Lots to consider — fortunately, measuring is just as straightforward as it’s always been. Simply measure the length and width of the space to be cooled, then multiply these values. The product of these two measurements gives you the approximate square footage of the area.
  • Multiply By BTUs – Now take your space’s calculated square footage and multiply it by 25 BTU. This is a good baseline level of cooling for most interior spaces in Jacksonville and should give you a fairly accurate idea of the BTUs you want from your new air conditioning unit installation.
  • Don’t Cut Corners On Cost – It can be tempting to undercut an AC unit’s BTUs in an attempt to save money, but going for a lower-price option usually just means you will soon be paying for repairs or upgrades. You’ll also see the difference — and pay accordingly — as money goes out the door in the form of higher energy bills. Why? An insufficiently low AC unit power output in a too-large space means that the machine has to work harder and use more electricity. So not only will your “low-price” air conditioner be running all of the time, but it’s going to actually cost you more than the higher-BTU unit.
  • A Higher BTU Isn’t Always Higher In Quality — If you don’t need a max-capacity AC unit to cool your home, there’s neither a need nor an advantage to purchasing a higher BTU product. Air conditioners work by extracting moisture from the air (i.e. humidity), but it only works to cool the air properly if enough time elapses for the initial heat to be “lost” in the conditioning process. When you put an AC unit with excessively high BTU capabilities into an inappropriately small area, the “conditioning” actually happens so fast that the moisture from the air cannot be extracted properly. Additionally, unreasonably large units tend to cycle on and off frequently, which wastes energy and quickly raises utility expenses.
  • For A Discount, Go With A Wall Mount– If you are aiming to cool just a single room or two smaller rooms, our HVAC experts advise forgoing window-mounted AC units. Instead, opt for a wall installation of your new cooling system. Wall mounts are usually more energy-efficient, and unit prices don’t differ very much from window-mounted alternatives.

Do you have more questions about your air conditioning installation? Contact Howard Services to speak to one of our Jacksonville AC contractors! You can also plenty more information on our residential and commercial solutions for all kinds of cooling system services, including diagnostics, maintenance, vent cleaning, and new AC unit installations.