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You Know You Need AC, But What Size?


It’s not quite April, but the temps in the Seattle area are in the seventies!

If you haven’t noticed, warm weather has been arriving earlier each year and lasting well into autumn, meaning that it’s time to stop hemming and hawing about installing air conditioning in your home. In a word, it’s hot. And you and your family feel it.

But one of the first questions our customers at Green City ask when considering a new air conditioning system is, “What size air conditioner do I need?”

We can help. Here’s a brief tutorial:

The way air conditioners are sized is by “tons” (but don’t worry, this has nothing to do with how much the unit actually weighs!). By “ton” we are referring to the ability of the unit to cool your home. For example, a one-ton air conditioner is able to generate 12,000 BTUs of cold air (BTU stands for British Thermal Unit). And to anticipate your next question, a BTU simply refers to the energy needed to cool one pound of water by one degree. Doing the math, therefore, every hour a one-ton air conditioning unit can cool 12,000 pounds of water by one degree.

Unfortunately, calculating what size air conditioner you need isn’t as simple as determining the square footage of your home. Several other factors come into play, such as:

  • How old is my house? 
  • What is the area of my sun-exposed walls? 
  • How much direct sunshine does my home get? 
  • What is my total volume of living space? 
  • How old are my windows? Which direction do they face?

At Green City Heating and Air we have been in the cooling business for over 30 years, and we have seen it all. Our team of experts can evaluate your unique situation and determine exactly what size unit will meet your family’s needs.

It’s hot out there, and only getting hotter. Isn’t it time to say “Enough!” when it comes to those hot, uncomfortable days and sweaty, sleepless nights? Call Green City for a free quote today!

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