What’s the best Air Conditioner Size for My Home?

Planning to turn your home into an ice-box this summer? Not so fast!

Choosing an air conditioner for the home is an important task, as it’s a significant investment, and is a system that will be in the home for years to come.  There are a few different types of air conditioners, including window systems and portable units, but this article will focus on split systems. These are the systems with both an indoor air conditioner, and an outdoor fan system that work in tandem.



What size do I need?

First up: the size. Power and size go hand in hand, with the power of an air-conditioning unit is measured in kilowatts. The larger a unit is, the better its cooling output, but power consumption is also higher. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Smaller units, around the 2kW mark and higher are best for bedrooms, home offices, or other small spaces where you’ll be spending a lot of time and need to be comfortable.
  • A small apartment or studio will benefit from a unit around 3.5kW.
  • Larger spaces, like lounge rooms, demand a unit powered around the 6kW mark, to ensure a cooling output that can reach every part of the area.
  • Units around the 8-9 kW work best in open-plan homes, where one large area requires cooling.


Can I use a smaller unit?

Choosing the right size, for the right price important not just at the point of sale, but for running costs in years to come. If a unit’s size is ill-matched to the room it’s in, it will need to be run harder to achieve the same results as a larger model. That means bigger power bills in the long run.


Crunching the numbers

For more accurate information for choosing the best size of air conditioner for a particular room, it’s best to use an online calculator. This will require a fair amount of measurement of the home, of things like floor and ceiling surface area, wall thickness, window size, and curtains, all in metres and square metres.

However, the end result will be more accurate than rough estimation!


Are there any natural cooling factors in my home?

Cooling and heating your home is about so much more than simply adding a great air-conditioner to it. Creating the perfect climate inside requires a handful of internal and external considerations about the home. Like the following:

  1. Are there air paths in the home that can be leveraged? The orientation of the home is important here, and these breezes should be taken advantage of. This natural ventilation helps the home to feel more comfortable, without the need for chilling.
  2. Having the appropriate window glazing, or keeping windows covered when exposed to the sun will help to block out the heat. Likewise, proper roof and wall insulation is instrumental in retaining the cool air.
  3. Simple pedestal fans can work wonders for circulating an air conditioner’s cold air. For even moderate-sized homes, using a single large AC unit to cool the entire home is a tricky, and often an expensive proposition.  If your home is older, or is not open-plan, an assisting pedestal fan (or similar) can be incredibly useful. 

Considering these things and working to the natural strengths of the home is essential for running your unit efficiently.  

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