If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner and live in the Seattle area, selecting the right sized unit for your space is essential. When an HVAC unit’s cooling capacity is too small, it will fail to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. When your A/C is too big for your home, it will use more electricity than is necessary and will make your home’s interior unpleasantly humid. Figuring out the right size air conditioner for your needs is vital for maximizing the unit’s efficiency and performance.
Measure your home’s square footage.
Determining the size air conditioner that you need will require some measurements and a bit of math. First, measure the square footage of each of the rooms that you intend to cool. Use a tape measure to learn the length and width of one room, and write these measurements down. Next, multiply these two numbers to figure out the square footage. Complete this process for each room of the house, writing down the measurements and totals as you work. Be sure to include only areas that your central ducts reach, excluding basements, garages, and attics.
Determine your cooling capacity needs.
The next step toward finding out what size air conditioner you need is to use your measurements to determine the cooling capacity required for your home. The cooling capacity of central air systems and room air conditioners is measured using British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour. The United States Department of Energy’s Energy Star website provides guidelines for determining the BTUs needed for your home or room’s square footage .
Consider your home’s additional factors.
Choosing the right size air conditioner can depend on a few things besides your home’s square footage. If your house receives significant sunlight or has many windows, it may need more cooling capacity than one that is shaded or allows less sunlight into the interior. Your home’s insulation will also contribute to its need for cooling capacity. Experts recommend having multiple HVAC contractors perform an estimate on your home before you make a decision about purchasing your new air conditioner.
Many people are looking to save on their energy bills by making their air conditioning near Seattle as efficient as possible. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to promote the efficiency of your air conditioner. Read on to learn about some easy ways to help your HVAC system save energy .
Inspect Your Air Filters
A clogged filter can make your air conditioning system work on overdrive. Thus, it’s important to check and replace your filters regularly to increase the lifespan of your HVAC system, cut costs on your energy bills, and reduce the amount of dust and allergens circulating through your home. Check your filters monthly and consider calling an HVAC professional if you need help replacing them.
Consider the Location of Your Unit and Thermostat
In order to keep your air conditioning unit working efficiently, avoid installing your unit and thermostat in an area that gets a lot of sun. Placing your unit in a shaded location will make cooling the surrounding air easier. In addition, keep your unit’s thermostat away from heat-producing objects, such as lamps, television sets, computers, and other electronics. Your air conditioner will run longer than it needs to if it senses these nearby sources of heat.
Adjust the Dial
Keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher to significantly reduce your energy consumption. It’s especially important to turn the dial before you leave the house so that your air conditioning unit won’t be running while your home is unoccupied. If you frequently forget to adjust the temperature before heading out, you might want to consider installing a programmable “smart thermostat” or timer so that this important task is completed automatically.
Weatherize Your Home
Prevent cool air from leaking out of your home by caulking and weather-stripping problem areas. You may also want to insulate your air conditioning ducts to prevent energy losses if they run through unconditioned areas such as your attic or crawlspace. Finally, applying window film to your windows can also help reduce the energy required to maintain a cool temperature in your home.
Are you considering installing a heat pump near Seattle ? A heat pump can help keep your home at a comfortable temperature all year round by warming your house in the winter and cooling it in the summer. Plus, heat pumps require less energy than other types of heating and cooling systems, meaning a heat pump can help you cut down on your energy expenses.
Heat pumps work through the use of a compressor to move heat from one area to another. In the winter, a heat pump takes heat from the outside air and pumps it into your home. In the summer, it acts as an air conditioning system by reversing this cycle.
In addition to their versatility, heat pumps have numerous other advantages. First of all, they are easier to maintain and have a longer lifespan than conventional heating and cooling systems. In addition, they transfer heat rather than generate it, reducing your energy consumption and thus your carbon footprint. Finally, heat pumps also act as dehumidifiers, making your home more comfortable in the summer without increasing your electricity bills.
While Seattle is known for being a damp, rainy place, the city has recently experienced hot, dry summers that are only getting warmer. July of 2015 was the hottest month on record in Seattle’s history, with temperatures topping out at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead of suffering through another hot summer, consider getting air conditioning so that you can be comfortable in your own home. Air conditioners give you the option to only use them when you need to, and not when you don’t. Your home’s security can also benefit, as you won’t have to have open windows for air circulation. Check out this infographic to learn more about why it’s a good idea to get an air conditioner in Seattle , and to learn about a few of your options.
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