At the change of seasons, many households find that their heating and cooling systems are not working properly and they need to replace or repair their existing systems. Air conditioning systems, as well as furnaces, have varying heating and cooling capacities based on the way they are built. It is important to note that each system is rated for specific cooling or heating capabilities.
How to Shop for an Appropriate Air Conditioning System
If you are shopping for a furnace or an air conditioning system, one of the key things that you should pay attention to on the label is BTU, which stands for ‘British Thermal Unit.’ BTU is the unit used to measure thermal energy. 1 BTU refers to the amount of heat needed to raise 1 pound of water 0.55 degrees Celsius at sea level.
Knowing the number of BTUs needed per square foot of space in your house is critical when it comes to selecting the correct air conditioning system to cool or heat your home efficiently. You will have to determine the square footage in your home that needs to be cooled or heated and choose the right equipment for the job. So, for example, how many BTUs does it take to cool 500 sq. ft?
The capacity of air conditioning units is always given in BTUs per hour. Many heating and cooling units will be labeled ‘BTU,’ but this is the short form for ‘BTU/h’ or ‘BTU/per hour.’ To find out the number of BTUs necessary to heat or cool 500 sq. ft., here is a general rule of thumb;
- Generally, 1 sq. ft. of space requires about 20 BTUs per hour.
- Multiply 20BTUs/h by 500 sq. ft. (the size of the space to be cooled or heated) and you get 10000 BTUs.
Note: This BTU calculation (using only square footage) does not take into consideration the way you live, the amount of insulation you have, or your climate. It is just a general estimate.
According to the above calculations, you need 10,000 BTUs per hour to cool 500 sq. ft. Therefore, when shopping, look for an air conditioning unit, which is labeled ‘10,000 BTUs/h.’ Although other AC machines with slightly less or more capacities than this may also do the job, a heating and cooling equipment that is built to supply up to 10,000 British Thermal Units per hour is the right one that will cool your 500 sq ft wide home in an efficient and effective manner.
Benefits of Choosing the Right Cooling System for your Home
There is no doubt that selecting the appropriate cooling system for your home comes with a number of benefits. Some of these include:
- Saving on energy costs as the proper machine will do the job efficiently and effectively. It will not consume more power than necessary to cool the room.
- Your machine will serve you longer simply because it will not be straining beyond its capacity. You will not have to worry about going back to your local HVAC shop sooner than expected.
- Your home will be safe from electrical danger since your cooling system will not be consuming more power than necessary or over straining to get the job done.
- Since your equipment will be chosen and purchased according to the exact requirements needed for your home, it will deliver the results you are looking for.
While high-quality heating and cooling systems can do a great job when it comes to lowering or increasing temperatures in the room, choosing a system with the right capacity (BTU) for your home is the key to enjoying the optimum benefits that an AC machine can offer.
If for instance, your home is 500 sq ft, you can calculate that an air conditioning unit labeled 10,000 BTUs will be best able to cool or heat your home efficiently and effectively. A cooling or heating unit that is labeled differently could waste your electricity without cooling or heat your home properly. So, shop wisely when choosing your unit and know how to calculated the unit you will need. Pay attention to the BTU rating more than any other criteria when looking for the appropriate machine to make your home comfortable during hot, summer days.