Calculating the load required of your facility’s air conditioner is important for maintaining a comfortable and efficient facility. If your HVAC system is too small, it won’t be able to properly circulate cooled air throughout the building. This is probably the more obvious sizing issue, since a building clearly needs enough cooling power to overcome the ambient heat inside.
However, if your air conditioner is too large for your facility, you may experience problems with energy efficiency and the integrity of the system itself. The most efficient air conditioner is one that can continually cool your facility to the right temperature while starting and stopping as few times as possible. Plus, a larger system can cost considerably more to install and maintain.
Determining the Right Size for Your Commercial Air Conditioner
There are many calculation methods out there that rely on “rules of thumb” for certain load estimations. These can be misleading, so it is best to avoid them in favor of load calculations that are more appropriate to the actual usage, size, and layout of your facility.
Here are some helpful tips for more accurately calculating your air conditioner load:
- Take the square footage and ceiling height within your facility into consideration to determine the total volume of air that will need to be cooled.
- Estimate the number of people who will be working within the facility all day; this can be an average if that number varies over time.
- Be sure to take note of the number and sizes of any windows and doors that will allow additional heat into your facility.
- You’ll want to take any other heat sources, such as kitchens, furnaces, or other heat-generating equipment, into account, as well.
- The local climate can be a major factor in how much cooling power you’ll need, so look for accurate charts that provide air conditioning load information by region.
There are many other important factors to consider, as well, including maximum occupancy, safety factors, seasonal weather, and other conditions. You may find it easier to calculate your air conditioner load from this data using one of the many software tools available for creating accurate load estimates.