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Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

What Size Ductless AC Unit Do I Need?

blue-question-markSpring is here. This is the time of year where you should take inventory of your life. Clear out all those old clothing items that you never wear from your closet, scrub those corners, and open up your windows to let in some fresh air. If you’re in the spirit of clearing out and reevaluating, then we know that this energy is going to make it to your HVAC system eventually. We’re here to support you when it does.

Are you considering ductless air conditioning in Minneapolis, MN? The thing that you need to pay attention to the most is the sizing of your unit. We’re prepared to help you get exactly what you need. We’ll talk about all the details below…

Let’s Size It

You don’t need to know everything when it comes to ductless systems—that’s why our professionals are here! There are a few things we’d like you to know before buying a ductless system. We’re here to give you the crash course in everything today.

energy star BTU chart

BTU sizing chart from Energy Star.

What You Should Know

It’s imperative that you have a properly sized ductless mini split unit. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. We see many homeowners fall into this trap when they’re shopping for a new unit. Don’t think that you’re erring on the side of caution by overshooting your capacity needs. You need a system that’s perfectly sized, anything else is going to lead to a host of trouble. You’ll start to notice short cycling. This is when your ductless system starts, runs, stops short, and then starts up all over again.

An undersized unit is arguably worse. A small unit is never going to be able to match your comfort needs. You’re not going to be cool enough and you’re not going to be able to condition your space effectively. You’ll end up spending more money for less power.

Let’s lead to some measurement terms that you need to know.


BTU or a British Thermal Unit is a measurement of thermal energy. You’re going to notice this term thrown around quite a bit when you’re considering a ductless system. In literal terms, a BTU measure the heat needed to raise the temperature one pound of water by one degree.

In air conditioning terms, BTUs matter because the measure how many BTUs per hour the product can add or remove from the air. Knowing the type of BTUs that you need depends on a few different things. Here are the factors that affecting your ductless sizing:

  • The height of your ceilings
  • The age of your home
  • The amount and quality of your insulation
  • The climate of the area
  • How much direct sunlight (or lack thereof) your home receives.
  • How many people inhabit your home
  • The type of flooring you have (carpeted flooring is a lot more insulated than hardwood)
  • Lighting (lots of lights or bright lights can add warmth to a room)

We know that receiving this much information all at once can be overwhelming. We want to make it easy for you to understand.

Contact Residential Heating and Air Conditioning today for your ductless services. Feel the Difference.

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