Keeping a commercial building cool during the warmer months of the year can be a complex and costly endeavor. Building owners rely on commercial air conditioning units to keep their commercial properties comfortable for staff and visitors. However, an air conditioning unit can only be effective if it is sized correctly. A commercial air conditioner that is too large can waste energy and make a building too cold, while an AC unit that is too small will not be powerful enough to efficiently cool. Here is a look at how to size a commercial air conditioning unit and what you should consider when selecting a commercial AC system.
Steps for Sizing
Sizing does not refer to the physical height and width of an air conditioning unit. Instead, sizing indicates the system’s cooling capacity. An air conditioner’s cooling capacity is measured in British Thermal Units, or BTUs. When comparing commercial AC units, you will see that each unit has a BTU which tells you how much heat the unit can effectively manage. You will also need to determine the size of your building to determine if an air conditioner will be a good fit. Here you will find some simple steps for sizing a commercial air conditioning system.
Identify Square Footage of Desired Cooling Space
The size of the commercial air conditioning unit you choose should be directly based on the size of your building. One of the first things you will need to do before shopping for commercial AC units is to calculate the square foot of the building or the rooms in the building that you want to cool.
To calculate the square footage, you will need to multiply the length of the room times the width which will give you the area. However, that is only effective for rooms that are a rectangular or square shape. For all other shapes, use the formula Area (t2) = square footage.
Consider Number of People
Another major factor that will make a difference in the size AC unit you need is the number of people in the building on any given day. This information is important for a number of reasons. Everybody naturally emits heat; if you have a lot of people working in the building at once, it can increase the temperature indicating the need for a larger unit.
If many people are going in and out of the building throughout the day, the conditioned air is essentially being wasted. You will need to choose an air conditioning unit that is able to handle this constant influx of warm air from outside.
When sizing a commercial air conditioning unit for your business, you will also want to look at how many windows are in the building, the condition of those windows and whether or not there is air leakage. If the windows are leaking air, you will want to have this fixed before installing a new cooling system to prevent energy waste. Windows, exterior doors and skylights can all leak cool air and allow warm air to infiltrate the building. This not only affects the comfort of the building but can make your energy bills skyrocket over time.
Calculate All Factors in BTU
Once you know the factors mentioned above, you can begin your search for a new commercial air conditioner. To determine the size AC unit you need, start by dividing the square footage of the building by 500. You will then want to multiply the answer by 12,000. This will be the BTU that you will need to efficiently cool your building. You will then want to add an additional 380 BTU for each person that works in the building all day. Also add 1,000 BTU for each window. Add 1,200 BTU for each kitchen in the building to compensate for the heat they emit.
Talk to the Commercial Air Conditioning Experts
Maybe you just purchased a new building and want to prepare it for the long summer ahead, or perhaps your existing commercial air conditioning unit recently failed and you are looking for a replacement. Selecting the correct air conditioning specialist is as important as selecting the correct unit. For more information about how to size a commercial AC unit, contact Cool Works Co.