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Save Hundreds of Dollars on your Next AC... and Be More Comfortable to Boot!

April 2, 2013

Sooner or later, you will need a new air conditioner. What’s the best size? Bigger is better, right? Turns out this is not true. Just like the start-stop city miles per gallon in your car is less than highway miles per gallon, the most efficient AC is one that runs all afternoon on the hottest days of the year. In addition, having the most efficient AC unit will make you feel more comfortable - a steady stream of cool air, rather than blasts of cold air followed by an increased temperature in the living space.

Rich Franz-Under, R.A., LEED AP and Green Building Program manager for Pima County offers a way to properly size your air conditioner. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Wait for a hot afternoon. It must be 105 degrees or above.
  2. Next, set a timer and monitor how long the AC runs, versus how long it remains off. Repeat this two or three times.
  3. Record the average of run-times and "off" times.
  4. Next, use the following formula:
    Minutes on
    Minutes on + Minutes Off = % of current system capacity used
  5. Multiply the % of current system capacity used by the size of your current AC. This will indicate how large your next AC needs to be to provide a comfortable environment.

For example: if your average cycle is 22 minutes running and 21 minutes off, then the load is 51% of system capacity:

22/(22+21) = .511 or about 51%

Then multiply the capacity of your existing AC by the percentage of capacity used: if your existing AC is 3.5 tons:

3.5 tons x .51 = 1.8 tons of load. Therefore, a new 2-ton AC should be fine for you. Less expense, greater comfort!

Previous Green Resource Articles by Long Realty

Making Monsoon Work for You
Breathe It In
Is It Time To Replace My Water Heater?
Creating Backyard Ambiance
Cut Down on Holiday Food Waste
Be Kind to Mother Earth This Holiday Season!
Can It Be Fall Planting Time Already?
Some Great Reasons to Consider a Staycation This Summer
The Heat Is Upon Us! Some Helpful Tips to Keep Cool
Water Saving Tips to Help You Prepare for Summer
Tips for Reducing Your Green Footprint
Spring is Almost Here: Time to Get Rid of Clutter!
8 Tips to a Stunning Winter Container Garden
Home Heating Tips
Time to Change Those Air Filters
Don’t Neglect Your Hot Garden Now
Easy Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill
Concerned about cooling costs? Try these 5 Tips
June’s Tips to Potted Garden Success
5 Helpful Tips for a Green Holiday Season
7 GREEN Tips for Your Thanksgiving
VOC (volatile organic compounds) in the Household
Cool Tips for Summer Savings
Staying GREEN in Home Cleaning
Assessing Your Plants After Freezing Temperatures
Smartscape is Watersmart
Neighbors helping Neighbors
Eco Friendly Summer Camp for Your Kids
One Person's Trash CAN BE Another's Treasure?
Reduce & Reuse This Holiday Season
Eco-Friendly Apps That Can Change Your Life
What is an Energy Audit?
Green Pet Food
Beat the Heat this Summer
Do You Have Fruit Trees?
Is Organic Worth the Price?
How to Select LED Lightbulbs
Save Hundreds of Dollars on your Next AC
How to Humidify your Home Naturally
New Homes With Green Features
Saving Energy and Money with Better Light Bulbs
Best Sustainable Home Improvements
Benefits of an Energy Efficient Home