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Load Calculation: How It Works and Why It’s Important

Installing a commercial air conditioner is a little more involved than installing a standard residential unit. The commercial locations are usually much larger and require more power for cooling. When you need service for commercial air conditioning in Bradenton, give our team a call for commercial HVAC expertise.

We can help you calculate the load and ensure that your current unit is meeting your commercial cooling needs. You can keep reading to learn more about how load calculated for an AC unit and why a precise calculation is so important.

What Is Load Calculation for a Commercial AC? 

When we use the term load calculation, we are talking about how much cooling ability a an AC unit has compared to the size of the space that needs to cool and the climate zone in which a business is located. Warmer climates need more cooling capacity than cooler climates. 

Larger spaces need a more powerful unit than smaller spaces. you also have to consider factors like whether or not your business location has one or more kitchens that will produce a lot of heat, which could require a little bit more cooling power. 

Steps for Calculating Load

First, we want to be clear that it isn’t your responsibility to calculate load and figure out what size AC you need in a commercial location. That’s what our team is here to help with. But it’s still a good idea to know how load is caculated so you understand the process. 

  • Step one: Measure the square footage of your commercial location.
  • Step two: Divide the number by 500 to get the tonnage for your commercial AC unit.
  • Step three: Multiply the result by 12,000 for the base cooling load in BTUs.
  • Step four: Add in additional load for considerations listed below.
  • Step five: Divide the total by 12,000 again to convert the load calculator into tons. 

Next you have to think about factors that can mean your AC unit needs additional load capacity for cooling. These include:

  • Climate zone
  • The number of people who will be working in your commercial location
  • Kitchens or heavy equipment that produce additional heat
  • Overall insulation in the building
  • Size and design of windows

Adjusting HVAC Unit Size

The great thing about commercial ACs is that they are easily adjustable to meet changes in cooling needs. If your business grows or gets more equipment, you may need additional cooling capacity. Our team can add an AC unit to your existing setup as a means of increasing load. If your business gets smaller or your cooling needs decrease, we can remove one of the units from your existing setup. 

You can often tell that your HVAC unit load is off by how the system operates. It may turn on and off frequently if the setup is too large for the space. This means that your HVAC system has more cooling capacity than is needed. 

Your unit may turn on and stay on longer in an attempt to keep your business cool if it doesn’t have enough capacity to keep your business cool. Either of these things means that you need to schedule service for the system and get your concerns addressed.

Do yourself a favor and contact Jim McDonald & Sons Heating & Cooling for air conditioning service in Siesta Key, FL. Cooling Sarasota and Manatee Counties since 1970!

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