Keeping Cool in the Summer Heat

OK — the summer’s been so hot you might be at the melting point where you want to go out and buy an industrial size air conditioner to keep your home as cool as it can be.

Not a good idea, says the gurus of all things energy-conscious, ENERGY STAR.

Maybe the heat of the summer has gotten you a little crazy, and that’s expected. Let’s look at the ENERGY STAR facts to see what really happens when you mount a 10 billion BTU air conditioner in your three bedroom home.

Because the air conditioner removes both heat and humidity from the room (and let’s all join in a chorus of, “It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity” to sum up the summertime discomfort level so far), an oversized unit will actually cool the room too quickly to adequately remove at the same time the amount of humidity that will make you feel comfortable. You’ll be left with a cool but damp room that will literally chill you and take you to the other extreme. Then you’ll be discovering the discomfort of “It’s not the cold; it’s the humidity.”

The properly sized unit will remove both the heat and the humidity in proper proportions, leaving you feeling refreshed and energetic again.

And do we need to point out the fact that an oversized unit will leave you an oversized energy bill? We don’t need to, but we did anyways.

To accurately figure the size of the air conditioner you will need in any given room of your home or office, here are some simple formulas:

• If you have a square or rectangular room, you compute the square footage by multiplying the length by the width.

• If it’s a triangular room, take the same length by width measurement and then divide it by two.

• If you have some space-age modern room configuration, you can divide it into individual square, rectangle, and triangle shapes and figure each part separately and add together at the end.

• If math just isn’t your thing no matter what kind of room you have, call Family Danz for an expert computation.

These BTUs per hour designations will accommodate the following square footages:

• 5,000 BTU … 100 to 150 square feet
• 10,000 BTU … 400 to 450 square feet
• 14,000 BTU … 550 to 700 square feet
• 21,000 BTU … 1,000 to 1,200 square feet
• 30,000 BTU … 1,500 to 2,000 square feet

There are still other considerations to figure into the equation, however. If you have a lot of shade over that room, you can reduce the needed capacity by 10 percent. On the other hand, if you have a lot of sun in the same area, you increase the needed capacity by 10 percent. And if you are regularly hosting groups, add 600 BTUs for every extra person beyond a head count of two to compensate for their body heat.

In a kitchen, you’ll want to take into consideration the heat of not only the oven and stove but also the exhaust of the refrigerator and even the lighting by adding 4,000 BTU to your necessary capacity.

Still confused? Don’t worry — we are here to help with all of your air conditioning needs. For more information on choosing your own A/C system, call Family Danz today at .