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What Size Air Conditioner?

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This Healthy Home report is sponsored by Holland Heating and Cooling.

Now that it's getting warmer and, before the temperatures begin hiking up on us too much, I’d like to talk about window air conditioners and how to choose the right size for your room.

Here’s a couple old models that conked out from overuse and now it’s off to the big box store to find another one, but what size do you really need? Well, if you’re like most consumers, you try and get one that’s within your budget but also you probably figure that the bigger the unit is, the better it is, right?

Oh contraire Pierre! Bigger AC units, or ones with a higher btu capacity only refers to the cooling capacity, not the quality of the unit. Just because one car has a larger engine than another, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better, but rather it can just go faster than the other one. Here’s a helpful formula for determining how many btu’s of cool comfortable air your room will need.

Get your tape and measure the length and width of the room you want to cool. Round each dimension to an even number, like this room is 10x15, and then multiply the 2 numbers together. Take the final number and then divide by .05. your end result will be the number of btu’s you’ll need to cool off your room, without having your air conditioner running non-stop or getting one too large that doesn’t run enough to remove the humidity.

Now, the technical way to do this for an entire house is to do what’s called a manual J load calculation, but for a simple room, this is a formula that will work 98% of the time and keep you from overspending on an air conditioner that may be bigger than what you need.

For more healthy home tips and videos, tune in next time. Working to keep your home healthy and safe, I’m Jeff Lee