Furnace Fiascos Avoided

Preparing For An AC Replacement Project

Tackling an air conditioning replacement job involves a lot of preparation. Before you bring an AC replacement technician into your house or your place of business, here are some tips to follow to ensure the project goes as well as possible.

Take Advantage of the Situation

An AC replacement job is a chance to perform upgrades, so try not to just have the unit you put in be a one-for-one replacement of the existing system. To accomplish this, it's important to know your needs. If it has been more than 20 years since the unit was installed, you can easily suppose the new one will be more efficient. You can also make an upgrade to the capacity of your unit.

Understand the Ratings

The numbers that you see on websites, boxes, and marketing materials for AC units can leave you wondering just what the heck you're even paying for. What does it even mean that a system is rated for four tons?

Fortunately, tonnage in air conditioning is very easily convertible with some basic math. One ton equals 12,000 BTUs of output. Similarly, one ton of capacity consumes 3.5 kW of electricity.

That obviously needs some context. If there's one person in a building for 8 hours, their added body heat will require roughly 380 BTUs to cool down. Likewise, every 1,000 square feet of floor space in a building will require 24,000 BTUs of output just to keep the air in it cooled.

Imagine you have a 2,000 square foot office space. It will require 48,000 BTUs to cool (2 X 24,000). That means you'll need a four-ton AC unit just to cool the air in it. If there are many people present or if hot air comes in from the outside because of doors being opened and closed, simply add another ton for overhead. Thus, you can conclude you'll need 5 tons of capacity, which happens to be the lower bound for commercial-grade units.

Vents and Drainage

It's also wise to assume that the ventilation system for your old AC has aged. A professional can visit your location and see that all vents and ducts are in good condition, ensuring you get the most out of your setup.

To learn more about your options for AC replacement and for help with choosing the correct size of system, contact an HVAC contractor in your area who is familiar with commercial systems.