Here in Hawaii we are fortunate to have comfortable weather all year long. The seasons don't affect us as much as they do on the mainland but some days, especially in the summer, can be a scorcher. It's nice to have the option to turn on your air conditioning to cool off.
Wait. You don't have an air conditioner? But you want to get one? And don't know how to pick one? Here are some tips to help you properly size your new personal or business investment:
General Rule of Thumb for HVAC heat loads:
- Residential – 35 Btu’s per square foot
- Light Commercial – 45 Btu’s per square foot
- Commercial – 50 Btu’s per square foot
Other factors to consider when sizing air conditioners are:
- Building construction (single wall, double wall, concrete walls, insulated or non-insulated)
- Standard ceiling heights (8 feet, open beam, insulated ceilings)
- Window types and quantity of windows (standard jalousie, louvered, double-paned, etc.)
- Direct Sunlight (all day sun, morning sun, afternoon sun)
- Make sure when deciding on manufacturer of air conditioners that a local vendor is available for parts.
- Make sure you choose a reputable brand and not an unknown manufacturer.
- Check for energy rebates and tax credits.
- Always consult with a licensed contractor for equipment selection and installation.
- Protect your investment by keeping up with regular maintenance.
- Bigger is not always better.. Because..
- Energy consumption may be compromised if oversized.
- Wear and tear on A/C equipment from frequent cycling causing shorter equipment life.
- Cheaper is not always better.. you pay for what you get!!!
- Do not try to fit your A/C in a tight location.. it may be difficult or impossible to do routine maintenance or repairs in the future!