A functioning AC is an essential part of running a successful business. Being productive in an age when a lot of work is being done in the office, is closely related to one’s comfort.
Because of that, it’s imperative that you choose the right AC system that will match both the needs of your employees or customers and your needs. We’ve put together a short guide that includes some of the most essential factors you need to take into consideration when looking for the ideal AC unit. Let’s start from the top!
Assess Your Needs
The very first thing you need to do before you start looking at different models is to assess your needs and the needs of your business. Start with figuring out what kind of climate is dominant in your area. If you live in a colder climate where the AC system will need to provide heat for most of the year, you’ll want to look for systems that can handle cold operating temperatures.
That being said, you also need to take into consideration what kind of business you’re running as that will dictate your AC needs. Accounting offices have vastly different AC requirements than a restaurant. Likewise, a warehouse will bring a different set of challenges compared to a regular-sized store. Every space is different.
Once you’ve figured out roughly the type of AC system that would cover your business needs, it’s time to define the most important metric — the size of the AC system.
How to Calculate the Required Size of the AC System?
When you’re selecting an AC system, going for the largest possible unit can often be counterproductive. AC technicians from Cool Best Aircon argue that every AC system in every business or office building that you’ve been to has been carefully tailored for that specific space. That’s exactly what you need to do as well.
To find out the size of the AC that is perfect for your business, you need to measure the space it will be servicing. If you get an AC that is too powerful for the square footage of your business, you can end up with condensation and low efficiency.
Naturally, if you get an underpowered rig, it will always struggle to meet your needs. This is a Goldilocks-type situation — you need to get it just right.
Square Footage and BTU’s
Square footage of your business is the most essential metric that will tell you how big of a system you’ll need, but it’s not the only one. In addition to raw square footage, you also need to take into consideration the number of people that will spend time in your business, as well as other factors such as the number of windows.
Here’s the formula you’ll need: Square Feet / 500 x 12,000 = BTU.
BTU’s or British Thermal Units is a unit of heat. In the context of AC systems, BTU is used as a measurement that tells you how much heat a system can displace within a single hour.
The equation above will give you a rough estimate of the BTU value of your business space. However, you also need to account for each individual that will spend time inside each of the rooms. To do so, add 350 BTU’s for every person, but also 1,000 BTU’s for every window in each room.
Once you get a BTU estimate, you can start looking at different sizes of AC systems.
How is AC System Size Determined?
Most AC systems are rated in tons. Each ton an AC system is rated for equals 12,000 BTU. So now all you need to do is take the number that you’ve extrapolated from the formula above and divide it by 12,000.
If your business space equals 100,000 BTU, you’ll need a system that is rated for 8-9 tons.
Different Types of AC Systems
With size calculations out of the way, you also need to figure out what type of AC setup you want to get. There are generally two types of AC systems on the market — ducted and ductless.
A ducted system is what you usually see in large office buildings and other large spaces. This type of AC system uses a centralized heat pump that relies on a duct system to provide each room with enough heat or cool air.
A ductless system is different. Instead of using a system of metal ducts, these AC setups use individual indoor units to distribute cold or hot air.
Choosing which one to go with comes down to the size of your space as well as the number of rooms you’re trying to cover with your AC. Larger spaces with plenty of rooms will work best with a ducted system as it is much easier and cheaper to run ducts to all rooms than it is to use individual indoor units.
AC Efficiency Rating
Efficiency is an extremely important part of choosing the right AC for your business. AC systems use plenty of energy to cool off, or heat up the air.
Needless to say, this expenditure can easily add up to a point where AC costs represent a big part of some businesses’ cost of daily operations. It’s essential that you get the most efficient system you can afford. Every AC comes with efficiency ratings like EER and HSPF. The higher the number for both of these, the better.
Take Your Time
Shopping for a commercial AC is not something you want to rush. Take your time, do your research, and shop around for the best setup you can find. It is much better to cover all of your bases and spend time researching each model than it is to retrofit your AC system a year from now because the one you’ve chosen wasn’t cutting it.
An AC is a capital investment, and it should be taken as such. Once you find the right system, you’ll learn to appreciate just how much of a difference it makes.