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Should You Choose a 2.5-Ton AC Unit Over a 2-Ton System in AZ?

orange bags of arizona home insulation for heating and cooling replacement service in peoria az by canyon state hvac photo by prefocus solutions

When it comes to cooling the summertime air in Phoenix, the size of your air conditioning unit matters. While it may not seem like that big of a deal, there are several reasons why. Since we already discussed the process of choosing the right size, we thought it would be a good idea to explain when a 2.5-ton AC unit is a better option than a 2-ton system.

Why Do Property Owners Need to Know This?

For the most part, property owners lean on cost and installation price when comparing cooling systems. But it’s important to consider the longevity of the expense and what each brand, make and model has to offer before making a determination. 

At the end of the day, an air conditioner that inadequately cools your home during high temperatures will be more costly than one that operates at an efficient level throughout the summer. If saving money is important to you then you’ll take this decision seriously. Mind you, there is no simple answer and working with a professional is invaluable.

hvac van parked outside residential home in driveway unloading equipment and parts for new heating and cooling replacement project by canyon state

Making Sense of Inadequate AC Sizing.

Systems that are too small will continuously run during heat waves. In turn, energy costs increase, equipment life is shortened and optimal cooling levels aren’t experienced. On the other side of the coin, systems that are too large will repeatedly cycle on and off. This too increases wear and tear on top of your overall costs to operate the unit.

Understanding the Elements of an AC Unit

The “ton” rating of an air conditioner simply refers to the literal size of the system. What many Arizona homeowners are not aware of though, is what the term BTU (British Thermal Units) actually means. In short, it measures the heat content of fuels or energy sources. Regarding an air conditioner, this pertains to its capacity. 

Either way, none of these definitions matter if you don’t know how to use them to select the right cooling system for your space. Even if a unit cranks out 35,000 BTUs, it still may not be big enough to cool your entire home. So before going with a 2.5-ton AC unit, you’ll want to determine where the opportunity lies.

With that being said, let’s take a closer look at a 2-ton AC unit and how it may or may not be ideal for your current living situation.

kyle from canyon state wearing face covering inspecting hvac system that needs to be replaced by 2.5-ton ac unit in order to cool entire property during arizona summers

How to Know if a 2-Ton System is Insufficient?

For those of you that don’t understand the way AC systems work, a 2-ton unit typically provides cooling for about 900-1,400 square feet of space – give or take. But as you can see about this depiction, averages can be misleading. In fact, the overall output depends on a number of factors. 

When you take the time to think about it, there are five climate zones in the country. If you live in one of the coolest zones, then you’ll obviously get better cooling capacity. For example, in Arizona, that 2-ton unit is only going to cool up to 1,200 square feet (in ideal conditions).

What Does “Ideal Conditions” Mean Exactly?

Long story short, you need to be living in a newer home that’s well-insulated and sealed to attain adequate cooling performance. So what happens to this guesstimation if you don’t live in a new building? While it may seem like installing a 2.5-ton AC unit for a 1,400 square foot home is a no-brainer, the system may still struggle to cool.

Is Size or BTU Output The Real Determining Factor?

Aside from the climate we live in, poor insulation, ductwork and entryway seals all play a role in the functionality of air conditioners. Any level of seeping hot air will influence the comfort of your indoor environment. This is why we encourage all of our customers with older homes to always make sure drafts and other energy-wasting scenarios are addressed before looking into an equipment upgrade.

mike preparing to do a hvac video on outdated air conditioning coils to showcase the importance of proper maintenance and when to replace hvac system in peoria arizona

Even the most efficient 2-ton system will struggle to sustain cooling levels in a 900 square foot property that’s falling apart. Who’s to say an update will fix the problem?

Although some HVAC companies will tell you that a 2.5-ton AC unit is imminent; new windows, doors, ventilation, insulation, rubber strips or caulking can be a far more cost effective way to solve cooling issues. Awnings, tint and improved blinds also bode well.

What Are the Primary Benefits of a 2.5 Ton Cooling Upgrade?

Now that you’re aware of the importance of cooling factors, understanding the perks of a 2.5-ton AC unit is key. Sometimes a system’s capacity is a close call. Because of this, determining what you really want or need can make the difference in a confident decision.

Not Many Differences Outside of Efficiency.

For the most part, not everyone cares about every facet of an upgraded air conditioner. Technological advances and digital thermostats may be appealing, but they’re not essential. Either way, improvements do have their advantages. So, if you own a 1,400 square foot home, it’s probably best to go with the bigger model.

The last thing you’re going to want to do is spend all of your time trying to make sure you save money and don’t burn out a lower-capacity unit. Like we mentioned before, a longer lifespan will keep you from having to replace the HVAC system early. 

2x4 wood holding up attic in west phoenix where certified canyon state technician is preparing to gut duct work to install more efficient parts

The Value of Trusting in Your Arizona Service Relationships.

Ultimately, when deciding if you really need a 2.5-ton AC unit, you’ll want to find a quality neighborhood HVAC provider to bounce your questions off of. Properly investigating your current capabilities, capacity needs and reasons for an upgrade is always worth the investment (if the company is honest). 

At Canyon State Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing, we take pride in offering a room-by-room analysis and a free estimate. This gives us an opportunity to show our customers the “why” behind our recommendations and give them a chance to think things through.

Canyon State Cares About Your Comfort.

Buying a new air conditioner is a big deal and we want you to feel comfortable throughout the process. Finding someone you can trust allows you to know you’re going to experience the right help at the right time. Once the system is installed, you’ll need someone that’s reliable to take care of your maintenance and potential repair needs. 

Whether you choose a 2-ton or a 2.5-ton AC unit, you deserve the best. While there will always be elements outside of our control, our workmanship is important. Ensuring you receive the highest quality solutions from top of the line technicians is what it’s all about. 

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Canyon State Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing proudly serves residential and light commercial customers in Phoenix and surrounding areas. At Canyon State Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we schedule and perform routine maintenance of your HVAC equipment when it’s convenient for you.

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