I am sure you all have heard by now that we will be getting a heat wave the likes we haven't seen in over 4 years in the coming days. This will mean you and your family will be relying heavily on your central air conditioning system to keep everyone cool. Now we don't want to jinx anyone or throw some system meltdown mojo your way but when systems get put to the test there are times they fail...and usually at the worst possible time. Now this problem could have everyone in your family scrambling to find any place to keep cool while you figure out how to source out a new system.
Now there may be an off chance the unit that just quit on you was not the correct size to adequately cool your home as well as efficiently. So as you start the painful process of locating a service provider to come out and give you an estimate you can start doing some due-diligence beforehand.
When you go looking for a new unit, making sure you get the right one for your specific need ultimately determines how comfortable the rest of your summer will be.
Whether you're trying to cool a three-bedroom apartment, a studio or just a living room, you need to pay attention to cooling capacity. Bigger isn't always better. Too little and you'll still be left sweltering, too much and you'll turn your place into a clammy, frigid cave. Instead, you want to find that golden mean that will provide you the perfect cooling for your space, to efficiently remove heat and humidity and not cost you an arm and a leg on your energy bill.
The first thing you'll want to do is determine the area of the space you to cool. If you don't know off-hand what the measurement (in square feet) is, you can multiply the length (in feet) by the width of the room for rectangular spaces. For triangular rooms divide that answer by two. For oddly shaped rooms, you may want to divide them up into a grid and determine the area space by space. You don't have to be 100 percent precise.
Once you have that measurement, the next magic term you'll want to remember is BTU (British Thermal Units). These measure your A/C's cooling capacity. You can use this scale, available from Energy Star, to determine a unit that falls into the 'sweet spot' for even, energy-efficient cooling that suits your specific need.