What Size Ductless AC Do I Need for my Pittsburgh Home?

| Posted in:  Help Guides/Cooling
Ductless AC Diagram

Ductless AC systems are sized differently than central AC systems, in that ductless AC systems are designed to cool one room or space as opposed to a central AC system which is sized to cool your entire home.

However, like a central AC system, the “size” of ductless AC you need for your home depends on a variety of factors.

The only way to really know what size ductless AC is best for your home is to have a technician come to your home and assess your cooling needs and home layout.

That said, it’s still important that you as a homeowner know:

  • How ductless AC units are sized (in general)
  • Why ductless AC size matters
  • How to determine which size you need for your home

This way, you can make the most informed decision for your Pittsburgh home.

Let’s start by looking at how ductless ACs are sized…

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How are ductless ACs sized?

Like heat pumps and central AC systems, the size of a ductless AC system is determined by how much heat it can remove from a room in an hour. This is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), and is essentially equivalent to the amount of heat produced by burning 1 match.

The higher the BTU output, the more heat a ductless AC system can pull out of a room in an hour. On average, ductless AC systems can range anywhere from 9,000 to 44,000 BTUs.

Okay, but why does it matter what size of unit I get?

Great question! The size of your ductless AC unit actually matters, a lot. Let’s dive into that, next.

Why does ductless AC size matter?

If you purchase a ductless AC system that is too small, it will work constantly to meet your desired temperature.

On the other hand, if you purchase an AC system that is too large for your home, it will cool your home very quickly and then shut off.

If your AC is too small or too large, it can cause issues like:

  • Increased energy bills
  • Uneven temperatures throughout your home
  • Frequent repairs
  • Shortened AC lifespan  

For optimal cost-savings and to prolong the life of your AC system, it’s extremely important that you purchase the right size ductless AC system for your home.  

How to determine which size you need for your home

Two things will determine what size ductless AC is best for your home:

  1. Load calculation
  2. Number of rooms you want cooled

Factor #1- Load Calculation:

The “easy” (and inaccurate) way to determine what size ductless AC you need for is to look at the square footage of your home. However, this method doesn't take into account many other factors that affect the amount of heat entering your home.

That's where a load calculation comes in. A load calculation takes into account several factors unique to your home's build that will determine what size ductless system you'll need. These factors include:

  • How many windows are in the room you want cooled
  • Whether the room is facing north or south
  • Whether or not your home has quality insulation
  • If the room has carpet or hardwood floors
  • And many more

A qualified technician won’t just look at the square footage of your home to determine what size ductless AC unit you need. Instead, they will take the time to assess your home and cooling needs in their entirety, taking into account the many factors that help determine what size ductless AC is right for you.

Factor #2- Number of rooms you want cooled:

Like we mentioned above, ductless AC systems are designed to cool one room. Why?

Ductless AC systems don’t have vents, so the indoor unit is located directly in the room it is cooling. However, it’s possible to install indoor units in multiple rooms (8 indoor units to 1 outdoor unit), allowing you to cool multiple rooms in your home.

While this won’t necessarily determine the “size” of ductless AC unit you need, it will be a determining factor in how many indoor units you need to purchase.

Ready to install your ductless AC unit? Call our Pittsburgh techs

We know that investing in a ductless AC system is a big decision, which is why our techs will always take their time to provide accurate recommendations before any installation or repair. If you’re ready to get started with a free quote, contact us today!

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