When buying a new air conditioner for your business getting the size right is extremely important. Should you fail to get a unit which covers the full space, then you will not get sufficient ventilation in the office. Alternatively, if you end up with a more powerful unit than you need, it is going to cost the company much more money than it should. The acquisition and installation costs of air conditioning systems are high enough, without having to foot the bill for a system which isn’t needed.

The key to getting this right is to know how to size up your commercial air conditioner, and here are some tips on doing just that.

Step One: Calculating Square Footage

To get started you will need to have an estimate of the capability you require from an air conditioner in the workplace. Air conditioning units are measured in tons, which is relevant to the amount of hot air which it is able to remove per hour. A single ton air conditioner is able to remove approximately 12,000 Btu (British Thermal Units) per hour.

To understand what tonnage you need from your AC, you first need to calculate the square footage of the space which you want to cool. Remember that this is not the square footage of the building, just the zone which you want to ventilate.

Sep Two: Finding the Btu

Once you have the figure of the size of the space which you are looking to cool, you need to convert that into a Btu number to help you understand the power of the air conditioner you should be looking for. Divide the square footage by 500 and then multiply that number by 12,000, this gives you the Btu which you need to remove. Once you have this figure, you should look to add 380 Btu for each person you have working in the space. If this number varies a lot then simply take an average of the number of people who’d be in the space at any one time. Finally add 1,000 Btu for each window within the area, and if there is a kitchen, be sure to add 1,200 Btu for this.

Step Three: Picking The AC

Using the calculations in step three you should now have the number of Btu which is required to be removed from the space per hour. Convert this number to tonnage, simply divide the Btu figure you have by 12,000, and this will give you a pretty solid idea of what ton air conditioner you need to buy for the workspace.

This calculation can be done so that you will have a ballpark figure as to what you will be looking to pay for the purchase and installation of an AC system. The varying costs depend on capability, durability and future maintenance, but at least once you know the size you need, you can start to look deeper into which system to buy. But before you buy a commercial air conditioner, it is always important to get some professional advice to ensure the best possible system for the space.