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Before you go out and buy the largest air conditioner you can find, take the size of your home or building into consideration. Every air conditioning unit has a specific capacity and this is based on the size of the space being cooled. A large air conditioner may be too big for the space and cool too quickly. They do not dehumidify the air and waste energy. Units that are too small cannot cool the air and are overworked.

The cooling space must be known in order to select the appropriate unit for your home. A technician that performs commercial HVAC installation can run tests to determine what capacity is needed. If you do not want to hire a commercial HVAC installation technician for this part of the process, you can determine the cooling space yourself. It does take a little extra time and effort to find out the cooling space dimensions as opposed to using an air conditioning service.

Measure the length and width and then multiply them to obtain the area of the room. Do this for every room and then add the areas together. This number is the total area for which the air conditioning unit must cool. Bathrooms, hallways and entrances should be included in this total. If the cooling space is residential, divide this number by five hundred. Use four hundred for commercial buildings. This will tell you how many tons are needed for the unit.

An air conditioner chart can be used to determine the number of BTUs needed for the number of rooms and their sizes. Add 4,000 BTUs for rooms lacking ceiling installation and kitchens. Add 1500 BTUs for sunlit windows and any room located above a kitchen. Finally add 600 BTUs for each occupant. The total BTUs and tons will determine the unit size. An air conditioning service or retailer will need to know this information when helping you find the right unit.