What Does the HVAC Tonnage Number Mean?

If it’s time to replace your AC/heating system, you’ll want to be sure that your unit is strong enough to keep your home in South Central Texas comfortable without being so powerful that it has to constantly turn off and on. While we at GVEC are happy to help with this calculation to ensure your system is properly sized for your home, it’s still good to understand some basic terms related to air conditioning. Although the SEER rating of a specific system is an important place to start, the tonnage of a particular system is also important to consider.

It All Comes Down to BTUs

Although the concept of air conditioning is fairly new, the idea of energy transfer is quite old. Since an air conditioning system is essentially just a sophisticated energy-transfer system, the terms related to energy transfer apply. That’s why BTUs play an important role in determining the tonnage of a given system.

Essentially, the tonnage measurement of an HVAC unit is the amount of heat a system can remove from a space in an hour, which is based upon a predetermined formula derived from how much energy it takes to melt a literal ton of ice in a 24-hour period. In more understandable terms, one ton of air conditioner capacity is equal to 12,000 BTUs (British thermal units) of energy.

What Does This Mean?

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a math or physics whiz to successfully determine the tonnage rating of a certain system from GVEC. Instead, all you need to know is the square footage of your house. That’s because a general rule of thumb is that it takes one ton of air conditioner capacity to cool a space anywhere from 400 to 1,000 square feet in size.

This large discrepancy in size can be due to varying ceiling heights. In other words, a home with taller ceilings will have a larger cubic volume, thus requiring a larger AC/heating system to heat or cool the same square footage compared to a home with shorter ceilings. Ultimately, if you know your home’s size, you can get a pretty good idea of the size of unit you need.

There to Help, Right From the Start

Rather than trying to figure out all of this information on your own, though, it makes sense to allow the experts at GVEC to handle the HVAC installation process as well as all your maintenance and repair needs in the future. You can count on us to deliver on our commitment to great service that is reflected in our A+ Better Business Bureau rating. For more information about air conditioning systems, fill out a contact form, or feel free to call us at 877.466.5506 today.

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