When shopping for a new air conditioning system for your Sarasota home, it can seem like the experts are speaking a foreign language. Terms like “AC tonnage” can seem a bit baffling to the average person. As your preferred AC company, we’re here to translate this mysterious term into plain English.
If you’re having issues with your AC Unit, take a look at our AC Repair services.
The Real Story Behind “AC Tonnage”
You might think that “AC tonnage” has something to do with weight. After all, “ton” is part of the name, right? But in the HVAC world, tonnage means something completely different.
AC tonnage is actually a way for HVAC professionals to rate AC units. The term itself is used to measure the cooling capacity of an AC unit and it refers to the amount of heat the unit can remove from your home over the course of an hour. Still baffled? Let’s dig a bit deeper.
In the HVAC world, professionals measure heat energy in British Thermal Units or BTUs. A single BTU is roughly equivalent to the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of a single pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. A gallon of water weighs about 8.33 pounds, which means that it takes 8.33 BTU to raise a gallon of water’s temperature by 1 degree.
Now let’s get back to air conditioning. If your new AC unit has 1 ton of cooling capacity, then it means your unit can remove 12,000 BTUs of heat energy per hour. A 2-ton unit can remove 24,000 BTUs of heat energy and so on.
What It Means for Your AC System
Now, you’re probably asking yourself “how do I know how much AC tonnage I need for my home?” You can get a rough estimate by multiplying your home’s square footage by 25. That’ll give you the total number of BTUs your home’s new AC system needs to remove. Divide that number by 12,000 and you’ll get the tonnage capability needed to keep your home cool and comfortable.
Of course, there are other factors that can impact your AC system’s cooling performance. These include your home’s existing insulation, landscaping and architecture. The more floors you have and the less natural foliage surrounding your home, for example, the more tonnage you’ll need to keep your home cool.
Don’t forget that you can always turn to the experts at Airrific if you have any questions about AC tonnage or our AC installation services in general. We also offer AC repair services if you’re not quite ready to throw in the towel on your current AC system.