We hear lots of people asking, “What size central air conditioner does my home need?”

Great question! Just like your foot needs the right shoe size, your home needs the right AC size.

However, the answer isn’t as simple as, “Your home is X square feet, therefore you need an X ton air conditioner.”


You need a professional to determine what AC size your home needs

Long story short: a professional air conditioning technician needs to come to your home and do a Manual J Heat Load Calculation. (If you live in AZ, call us to find out what size you need as part of a free estimate.)

This calculation is the technician doing a complex “shoe fitting” to find the right AC size for your home—but with way more numbers involved.

The calculation takes into account all sorts of factors, including: 

  • Square footage
  • Layout (multiple levels, basement, etc.)
  • Number of windows 
  • How shaded your roof, walls and home are
  • Where you have vaulted ceilings (if you do)
  • The quality of your home’s insulation
  • If your air ducts are sealed and insulated
  • And way, way more

With that in mind, be cautious around any other company that gives you a quick rule of thumb to determine your system’s size. They’re not doing their due diligence!

“Can’t I just replace my current AC with one of the same size?”

This is the question we inevitably hear from current homeowners. 

The answer: You could, but there are a few problems with doing so:

1) Your current AC may be under or oversized
Many unprofessional contractors will size a system using a “rule of thumb” (sizing solely based on sq ft) rather than taking the time to do the right calculations. Therefore, it’s possible that your current system isn’t the right size. 

Replacing it with another system of the same size wouldn’t be fair to you. 

2) Things change
As your home changes, so do your cooling needs.  Have you added any new rooms? Well now you need more cooling capacity. Have you added extra insulation or trees for shading? Now you need less cooling capacity.

So, no, we don’t recommend just blindly replacing your system with one of the same size.

Know the size you need by getting a free estimate

To sum up: don’t worry about the size of the system. Let your air conditioning contractor do all the work. Just make sure they’re doing the right calculations and not guessing.

The easiest way to find out what size you need is to ask a heating and cooling company for a free system estimate. Determining the appropriate size is part of the Galvez Air Conditioning & Refrigeration free estimate, so it costs you nothing.

If you live in the Phoenix metro area, contact Galvez Air Conditioning & Refrigeration to schedule a free estimate


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