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How To Compute Your Air Con's Horsepower Based On Your Room Size

Original Article: Cay Araneta Photography: Jilson Tiu (Main Photo)

Living in a humid, tropical country means air conditioners are a staple throughout the year. And while most people base their purchase on the AC’s price or brand, a smart homeowner knows that there’s a lot more to that.

Before investing in an air conditioner, you have to consider its horsepower (HP) and its energy efficiency. You must also factor in the type you want, and how appropriate it is to the room you are putting it in. To keep your cool while hunting for an AC, here are a three things you might want to keep in mind:


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1. Horsepower

Assess the air conditioner horsepower you need based on your room’s floor area. Or when in doubt, consult your air conditioner dealer. Here’s a quick guide:

Floor Area (in square meters) / AC Unit Size (Horsepower)

  • 10.5sqm:                     0.5 hp
  • 11 to 14sqm:              0.75 hp
  • 15 to 21sqm:             1.0 hp
  • 22 to 25sqm:             1.5 hp
  • 26 to 28sqm:             2.0 hp
  • 39 t0 48sqm:             2.5 hp

 


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2. The layout and the construction of your room

Once you’ve gotten a basic figure, take into consideration that your AC’s optimum unit size may increase or decrease based on the following factors of your room:

Window size

Larger, untinted windows will let in more heat.

Window location

Windows located in the eastern orientation let in heat from the rising sun (hot in the  mornings), while those in the west let in heat from the setting sun (warm mid-afternoons).

Insulation

Older houses with GI sheets for roofing offer little insultion, while newer homes have bubble foil or polyethylene ceiling or wall insulation that helps keep heat at bay.


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3. The air conditioner type

Window-type

With the window-type, fan and condensing unit are in one piece. This requires a hole or provision in the wall as big as the AC unit. These types of air conditioners are generally cheaper than their split type counterparts. Maintenance  and installation are simpler because all parts are contained in one unit.

Split-type

Commonly used for bigger rooms and interior rooms, or areas without exterior walls for window type units. A small hole is needed to connect the fan to the condensing unit, which can be located outside, between 50 to 100 feet away.

This article originally appeared in the June 2005 issue of Real Living magazine

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