Air conditioners are notorious for consuming large amounts of energy. This becomes quite obvious during the brutal Florida summers when you see your electric bill climbing higher and higher as you crank down the A/C. One of the best ways to save money on your electric bill and stay cool is to purchase an energy efficient air conditioner.
When shopping for new air conditioners, pay close attention to the Energy Efficiency Ratio, most commonly referred to as EER. The EER is the ratio of the cooling capacity (in British thermal units [Btu] per hour) to the power input (in watts). We recommend purchasing a unit that has a minimum EER rating of 10.0. Generally speaking, the higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.
The required cooling capacity for a room air conditioner depends on the size of the room being cooled -- room air conditioners generally have cooling capacities that range from 5,500 Btu per hour to 14,000 Btu per hour. A common rating term for air conditioning size is the "ton," which is 12,000 Btu per hour.
Proper sizing is very important for efficient air conditioning. A bigger unit is not necessarily better because a unit that is too large will not cool an area uniformly. The oversized unit will also cool the room to its thermostat set point and shut down prior to properly dehumidifying the room, leaving the area feeling damp or "clammy." A small unit running for an extended period operates more efficiently and is more effective at dehumidifying than a large unit that cycles on and off too frequently.
Based on size alone, an air conditioner generally needs 20 Btu for each square foot of living space. Other important factors to consider when selecting an air conditioner are room height, local climate, shading, and window size.
The larger the home, the higher the capacity air conditioner you’ll need. One of the worst things is to have a low-capacity air conditioner in a large home. In that case, your unit would be working its hardest at all times and could never keep up with the demand, and your home would be likely to never get as cool as you set on the thermostat. However, don’t let size fool you. A larger unit is most often a less-effective unit. Getting the proper size air conditioner for your home is perhaps the most important thing when shopping for air conditioners.
Air conditioning may seem rather simple at first but once you start researching, it can become overwhelming very quickly. There are a lot of important elements when choosing a new air conditioner for your home. Trust the professionals at Brown's to help you make the right decision!
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