Why You Need A Load Calculation for Your New AC Installation

New AC
Posted on in Articles

If you're thinking about buying a new air conditioner for your Livingston, Texas, home, you have several things to think about. The first thing you should consider is size. Getting a professional load calculation helps you determine the proper sizing for your new AC system. Our technicians can provide a detailed home evaluation to help you pinpoint the best cooling system for your dwelling.

What Is an AC Load Calculation?

An AC load calculation is an assessment that helps determine the appropriate size for a new air conditioning system. A comprehensive load calculation looks at several home features, including:

  • Standard interior temperatures.
  • Typical outdoor temperatures.
  • Square footage.
  • Size and placement of windows and doors.
  • Home orientation.
  • Insulation R-values.
  • Home assembly U-values.
  • The number of occupants.
  • Duct placement.

A load calculation for a new air conditioning system includes sensible, latent, and total cooling loads. Your new system must have an adequate cooling capacity in all three areas to keep you comfortable.

How Do Technicians Perform a Load Calculation?

A Manual J load calculation is the best and most reliable approach for your home. A thorough load calculation requires an in-person inspection of the house. Our technicians carefully assess everything from the quality of your insulation to the layout of the building to provide you with the most accurate load calculation possible.

We won't rely on load calculations from previous contractors. When you work with McWilliams & Son Heating & Air Conditioning, your new AC installation will always start with a detailed home inspection to make sure you're investing in the right unit for your needs.

What Does a Load Calculation Tell You?

A load calculation tells your HVAC technician the BTU/hr you need to keep your home comfortable. Each ton of AC capacity is the equivalent of 12,000 BTU/hr. The sensible load calculation refers to the unit's ability to cool the home, while the latent load is the ability to control humidity.

Initial load calculations are not always accurate because these numbers are based on certain testing conditions that may differ from those you experience at home. Load testing is based on an outdoor temperature of 95 degrees, an indoor temperature of 80 degrees, and 51% relative humidity in the home. Our technicians can adjust the final calculation appropriately to suit the conditions in and around your house.

Can an Air Conditioner Be Too Big?

You may think that bigger is better, as an oversized air conditioner should always have the capacity to keep your home cool. This isn't always the case. If your system is too large, it will quickly reach your desired temperature in central areas of the home while leaving hot and cold spots around the further reaches of the space. plus isn't on long enough to dehumidify.

This forces the air conditioner to cycle on and off more frequently, creating more wear on the parts. A system that's too large will suffer from more frequent repairs, lower energy efficiency, and a shorter lifespan than one that's appropriate for your home.

What Happens If My Air Conditioner Is Too Small?

An air conditioner that's too small will often run continuously without ever delivering the desired temperatures for your space. Purchasing a smaller system may seem like a cost-saving approach to air conditioning, but an installation that's too small will suffer excessive wear from running too often. This causes the system to fail sooner than it would if it were sized properly.

Remember that your air conditioner both cools and dehumidifies the house. If you choose an AC system that's undersized for your space, you'll deal with both warmth and humidity, which can make your home particularly uncomfortable in Texas summers.

Are you thinking about investing in a new air conditioner installation for your home? Our highly trained, NATE-certified technicians are on hand to help. We'll discuss your budget, energy efficiency goals, and home comfort needs with you. After performing a detailed load calculation at your house, we can help you find the best new AC unit for your specific needs. Contact McWilliams & Son Heating & Air Conditioning at 936-657-1949 to get started.

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