You have probably heard that you need to know how big your house is before budgeting for an air conditioner (AC). This is partly true, but there are other factors you need to consider beyond your house's square footage; here are some of the additional factors to keep in mind:
Amount of Sunlight
The amount of sunlight your house receives is important because sunlight heats up the house and increases its temperature. Therefore, for two houses in the same area, the one that receives more sunlight require more cooling than the one that experiences minimal sunlight. The amount of sunlight your house receives depends on numerous factors including the location, orientation, size, and architecture of the house.
This also means that your AC's cooling needs will be reduced if your house sits in a shade. Say your house is surrounded by trees or other tall structures that cover it with their shadows. In that case, you won't need as much cooling power as it would have needed without the shadows.
A standard house has a ceiling height of 8 or 9 feet. Since the standard AC sizing recommendations are meant for standard houses, it means the calculations have been done using the standard ceiling height. This means you need to go back to the drawing board and do your own calculations from scratch if you don't have a standard ceiling height. For example, if you have a house with an unusually high ceiling height, you will need a bigger than normal AC because it needs to cool more space.
Number of Expected Occupants
The more people will be living in your house, the more cooling power you need, and there are many reasons for this. For example, each body will be generating heat and exhaling air that needs to be freshened. Therefore, you can't have the same AC for a three-person house as you would for a seven-person house.
Type of Room
If you are sizing a window or portable AC, then the type of the room in which you want to use it also matters. This is because some rooms are naturally hotter than others. For example, a kitchen is more likely to be hotter than a basement because the former has several heat-generating appliances and activities. Therefore, you need more cooling power in the kitchen.
As you can see, it's not easy for an amateur to calculate the cooling capacity their house or a room requires. Therefore, always consult an AC technician before budgeting for an AC so that you don't budget with insufficient funds because you didn't factor in every relevant factor.
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