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How Many Tons of AC Per Square Foot Do I Need?

how many tons of ac per square foot do i needAs temperatures begin to climb higher and higher, some homeowners realize that the time has come to purchase a new air conditioner. If you have added to your square footage in recent years or had ongoing heating and cooling issues, you may ask yourself: How many tons of AC per square foot do you need to keep your home comfortable and your energy bills low? Buying the right size AC unit for your space is critical for anyone who wants a unit that will work efficiently and last for years. If you install an AC that’s too small, it won’t be powerful enough to cool your living space effectively. This will run up your electricity bill and could potentially burn out the motor and other components as the unit stays on for prolonged periods of time, churning out cool air in vain.

If you install an AC unit that’s too large, it will cycle on and off frequently, placing undue wear and tear on the unit’s components and shortening the unit’s life span. In addition, air conditioners that are larger than your home requires don’t control humidity as well as a properly-sized system.

For all of these reasons, it’s important to know what size air conditioning system you need before you make a decision about which unit to purchase and have installed.

what size ac unit for 2400 square feet

What Size AC Unit For 2,400 Square Feet?

If you’re wondering what AC unit you’ll need for a home that’s 2,400 square feet, or for any specific square footage, you’ll find that the most commonly used calculation is actually relatively straightforward. That said, keep in mind that the square footage of a particular building is far from the only factor influencing the size of AC unit that is right for a space. Several other factors also influence indoor temperatures, including ceiling height, trees shading the home, the age of your home, sunlight streaming in through windows and seals on exterior doors, among other variables. Even body heat can make a difference in how hard your air conditioner will have to work to cool your home. The more people in a given room or building, the warmer it is inside, so houses with more occupants might need a more powerful AC unit than homes with just a single resident.

Private residences tend to need less powerful AC systems than office buildings and commercial spaces, since they are usually smaller and typically have fewer people inside at any given time. Private homes also usually have fewer exterior doors and windows that let warm air and sunlight in and cool air out in the summertime. Considering all of these factors, a common rule of thumb for determining what size AC unit is right for you is to assume that each ton of AC capacity can cool down between 600 and 800 square feet of home.

Therefore, if your home is 2,400 square feet, an AC unit that is between three and four tons would likely be a good choice for cooling your space both effectively and efficiently. If your home doesn’t receive much direct sunlight and is well-insulated with properly sealed windows and exterior doors, a unit on the lower end of that range would likely suffice. If your home has lots of large windows that take in plenty of direct sunlight or if it has many exterior doors that are in frequent use or are not properly sealed, you might need a unit on the larger, more powerful end of the range.

How Long Does An Air Conditioner Last?

If you are in the market for a new unit or need to make a decision about whether your current system needs to be replaced, you’ll probably wonder about the average service life of air conditioners. This is a good question, considering that air conditioners can cost hundreds of dollars to repair and many thousands of dollars to replace.

The industry standard for how long an air conditioner should last is an average of 10 to 15 years, although properly maintained AC systems can last far longer—up to 20 years or more. How long your air conditioner will last can also vary, depending on the type, brand and quality of unit you have. In most cases, however, regardless of brand or purchase price of the unit, regular maintenance is the key to extending the life of an air conditioner as long as possible.

how long does an air conditioner last

How Long Do AC Units Last In Texas?

Air conditioners in temperate areas might last 10 to 15 years, or even longer, with proper maintenance—but how long do these hardworking appliances last in Texas? It’s a fair assumption that AC units might not last as long in a state with such temperature and precipitation extremes.

The good news is that your Texas air conditioner should last just as long as AC units in other parts of the country, as long as your system receives proper maintenance. No matter what type of air conditioner you have, the most basic and important task you can do to extend the life of your AC is to switch out its filters. They should be replaced about every two or three months, and even more often during times of peak use, such as during the hottest summer months. Thankfully, once you know how to change a central air conditioner filter, it’s just a matter of making sure to put a regular date in your calendar to actually get this routine, but important task done on a regular basis.

It is also wise to have your heating and cooling system serviced twice a year by a reputable HVAC specialist, who will inspect ducts, connections, seals and mechanical components, check refrigerant levels, clean the condenser coil and test the system to ensure that it is working properly. A well-trained AC technician keeps the system in working order and can spot many problems early on, before they become critical.

Here are some signs that your AC unit needs servicing, and in some cases, that your system may need to be replaced:

  • When you turn on your AC, the air blowing out of the registers feels either damp and clammy, is warmer than it should be or has an unpleasant odor.
  • Your AC never succeeds in cooling your home to the temperature specified on your thermostat, even when you’ve set it to a temperature that’s not extreme.
  • Your AC cycles on and off frequently, rather than running for longer periods of time.
  • Your AC makes strange rattling or banging sounds when it runs.

One of the most obvious signs that your AC unit needs to be repaired is if you turn it on and nothing happens—when no is coming out of the vents. This scenario could be caused by several different malfunctions, all of which can be diagnosed and resolved by an experienced AC technician.

how long do ac units last in texas

Two Air Conditioners In One House: Pros And Cons

If you have a two-story home, you might consider installing two air conditioners in one house. There are numerous pros to this arrangement, along with some cons to consider.

First off, it is a simple fact that heat rises. Therefore, it’s very common to have a two-story home in which the upstairs is routinely hotter than the downstairs, due to heat rising throughout the day. Since many homes are built with bedrooms upstairs, this can make for some uncomfortably warm sleeping conditions on summer nights—unless the house has two air conditioners, one for each story.

With two air conditioners, you can choose to keep the downstairs cooler during the day and the upstairs cooler at night, in order to accommodate where most people will be spending time during daylight and nighttime hours. Two ACs in one house can certainly solve a lot of problems, as far as comfort goes.

Of course, it is more expensive to have two ACs in one house. The purchasing and installation costs up front are twice as high for two ACs, and it costs more to maintain two AC systems over the years, since you have to purchase twice as many filters and pay an AC technician to service two units instead of just one. Electricity costs may also rise with two AC units in use.

two air conditioners in one house

ABC Can Keep Your Home Cool And Comfortable

Buying an AC unit and not sure what size would be adequate for your home? Are you trying to decide whether to install two units, or if just one would suffice? Need to set up a maintenance schedule or have a broken AC diagnosed and repaired by a prompt, friendly and knowledgeable AC technician? Whatever your air conditioning needs might be, call on ABC Home & Commercial to help. Our AC specialists are experienced in all aspects of installing, maintaining, repairing and replacing AC systems, and can troubleshoot even the most perplexing problems. If your air conditioner is in need of repair, we provide round-the-clock service to get it running properly as soon as possible. If you need a brand new system, we’ll help you choose an energy-efficient unit that is the right size for your home. We can then keep it in top condition with annual, multi-point maintenance checks to resolve any potential problems before they develop into extensive—and expensive—repairs.

Tom Riggs

Tom Riggs is the Division Manager for Mechanical Services, overseeing sales and operations for HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Appliance Repair and Water Quality for all ABC Austin branches. He joined ABC in 2014. Before ABC, he was an HVAC Service Technician, HVAC Comfort Advisor/Sales and Operations Manager. Tom attended Universal Technical Institute. He's an avid outdoorsman and enjoys country living with his wife and two sons.

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