Unless you’re basically replacing your old HVAC system with a facsimile of the old one, and at the behest of your HVAC specialist, you should take some time to get more familiar with tonnage. It’s one of the most common ratings applied to HVAC systems (along with SEER and AFUE) and it can give you some insight into the power and actual capacity of the system.
So let’s break it down. If you’re interested in a 4-ton package unit (gas), then here’s what that actually means.
What Tonnage Really Means?
There actually is such a thing as a ton of air. It might seem absurd to quantify air according to weight instead of volume, but it can be done. Interestingly, tonnage in an HVAC system refers to neither, at least directly. A 4-ton unit doesn’t address 4 actual tons of air or the corresponding volume.
Instead of dealing with an actual ton of air, tonnage refers to how much heat an air conditioner can remove from the air in one hour. A 1-ton air conditioner delivers 12,000 BTUs of cooling power, so it would then follow that a 4-ton air conditioner could deliver 48,000 BTUs of cooling power. However, for most reasonable homeowners, these figures likely mean nothing.
There are a lot of factors at play beyond the power of the air conditioner itself, including the size of the home, the insulation of the home, how high the rooms are, how many windows there are, and much more. The next most important two factors you need to consider besides the tonnage of the air conditioner are the size of your home and where you are in the country.
How Much Can a 4 Ton Package Unit (Gas) Cool?
If you already have a 4-ton package unit (gas) picked out, and you want to know whether or not it’s large enough for your home, consider the following estimates. There are 5 zones in the contiguous United States, Zone 1 is in the Deep South and Zone 5 is the farthest north. These are rough estimates of the square footage that a 4-ton air conditioner can cool for each of them, assuming all things are equal.
Zone 1 (The hottest area of the country): Between 2100 and 2400 square feet
Zone 2: Between 2150 and 2500 square feet
Zone 3: Between 2200 and 2600 square feet
Zone 4: Between 2250 and 2700 square feet
Zone 5 (The coolest area of the country): Between 2300 and 2700 square feet
You’ll notice that there’s a little bit of overlap between how much a 4-ton air conditioner should be able to cool, between zones. These are not hard figures, but estimates, and will also be impacted by the unique aspects of your home’s construction.
What about for Hotter Climates?
Now that you have a rough estimate of how much a 4-ton package unit (gas) should be able to cool, it’s time to consider something else: the fact that gas packaged air conditioning system also has gas heat. These systems are only necessary for areas of the country that have cold winters and are rare in very hot areas.
Work with your HVAC specialist to determine if a gas furnace (as part of a gas package unit) is really necessary before you proceed with the purchase of a new heating and cooling system for your home. While 4 tons of air conditioning capacity might be necessary, 4 tons of gas heat might not be.
Visit Budget Air Supply
Still have questions about gas-electric package units or about tonnage? Trying to figure out which system will be best suited for your home, not only in terms of raw power but also in efficiency? Contact the customer service team at Budget Air Supply today. Responsive, reliable, and knowledgeable, they’ll have you determine the system that’s right for your home. Visit their website today at BudgetAirSupply.com or contact them directly at 855-473-6484.