Every homeowner in New Lenox, IL, knows that air conditioning is essential to stay comfortable in the summer here. Therefore, choosing the right size HVAC for your home is a decision that you can’t afford to get wrong. Making sure that happens, though, isn’t always easy. That’s because there’s quite a bit to consider when you’re trying to figure out what size HVAC your home needs.

To help you with this all-important comfort decision, here’s how to choose the right size HVAC system for a 2,000-square-foot home.

An HVAC Sizing Rule of Thumb

Even though HVAC sizing isn’t a cut-and-dry process, there is a general rule of thumb that you can use to guide your decision-making: You’ll need approximately 25 BTUs of cooling power for each square foot in your home. This means that a 2,000-square-foot home requires a minimum of 50,000 BTUs of cooling power. So, when you begin your search for a new HVAC system, you can immediately exclude any system that falls below that lower threshold.

Of course, you won’t see any central HVAC systems sold using their BTU outputs as a benchmark. Instead, central HVAC systems use tons as their measuring stick. The good news is that converting between BTUs and tons is simple. If you take the target BTU value you’re looking for and divide it by 12,000, you’ll end up with the value, in tons, that you’re looking for.

So, if you need a 50,000 BTU HVAC system, you’d go looking for one that’s 4.16 tons or larger. Be aware, however, that HVAC systems size up in half-ton increments. Therefore, in the above case, you’d need a 4.5-ton central air conditioning system to cool your home.

However, there’s a reason that the figure represents an approximation instead of a target BTU value. There are multiple things in your home that can influence how far above that amount your home needs to stay cool.

Additional Factors That Affect HVAC Sizing

One major factor that would affect your home’s HVAC needs is the height of its ceilings. If your home has ceilings higher than the standard 8 ft, you’ll need some additional air conditioning capacity to compensate. In that case, you’ll want to multiply your baseline BTU estimate by one and a half.

Additionally, if your home sits in the sun for the majority of each summer day, you should add 10% to your sizing estimate. Conversely, if your home gets lots of shade, you can deduct 10% from your estimate.

Next, you should add at least 4,000 additional BTUs to your estimate for each kitchen in your home. This will ensure that the heat generated by the appliances there doesn’t overwhelm your air conditioner’s cooling capacity. Also, if your home typically has two or more people in it at any given time, you should add another 600 BTUs to compensate.

How HVAC Professionals Calculate System Size

By now, it should be obvious that the calculations you’d need to do to determine the right size HVAC for your home aren’t simple. By following the advice above, you should arrive at a somewhat accurate estimate of your home’s needs. However, when you contact an HVAC company like Zark Heating & Cooling to evaluate your home’s needs, we can provide you with a more precise answer.

That’s because professional HVAC technicians use something called a Manual-J calculation to determine your home’s HVAC requirements. It’s a comprehensive guide to HVAC sizing developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, a nationwide industry group. It lays out a comprehensive process to account for every factor affecting a home’s HVAC needs.

So, when one of our expert technicians evaluates your home, they’ll look at things like the quality of its insulation, the efficiency of its windows, and the number and type of exterior doors it has. They’ll also consider what direction your windows face and a variety of other specifics about your home. That will lead them to a conclusion that guarantees you’ll end up with the exact right HVAC system for your home’s unique needs.

Trust the HVAC Experts

If your New Lenox, IL, home needs a new HVAC system, Zark Heating & Cooling is the place to turn. We’ve been the local leader in residential and commercial heating and cooling services here since 2008. We offer comprehensive HVAC services, including installation, repair, and maintenance. And we also offer indoor air quality and radiant heat solutions, too. So, when the time comes to pick the proper HVAC size for your home and install the system you want, contact Zark Heating & Cooling to get started!

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