A Guide to Selecting the Right-Sized Air Conditioner in Calgary

As Calgary summers continue to get hotter, Carrier AC installation is a valuable addition to your home. Keeping cool indoors during the hotter months means you are more comfortable, sleep better, and have a reprieve from the heat. 

When you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, choosing the right size is important for cooling your home and keeping your bills manageable. 

BTUs Are The Key to AC Sizing

British Thermal Units, or BTUs, are units measuring the amount of heat that an air conditioner can remove from your home per hour. The larger your home is, the higher the BTUs you’ll need. 

Here are some general guidelines for BTU sizing based on your home:

  • Small-sized homes that are up to 1,500 sq ft: ~18,000 – 24,000 BTUs.
  • Medium-sized homes that are between 1,500 to 2,500 sq ft: ~30,000 – 34,000 BTUs.
  • Large-sized homes that are 2,500 sq ft and above: ~34,000 BTUs or higher.

While BTUs are a good guideline, there are a few other factors you should consider before rushing to book an AC installation, like sun exposure, insulation, ceiling height and number of residents, especially in Calgary’s hot and dry climate. 

Other Factors to Consider Before Installing an AC in Calgary

Calgarians know that we experience a range of extreme temperatures, from deep freezes in the winter to sweltering heat in the summers. Air conditioners need to work harder during those peak summer months to keep your home cool. 

Sun Exposure

If your home is situated to receive a lot of direct sunlight, it can be significantly hotter than a home with shade or trees surrounding your home. The amount of sun exposure your home gets may influence the size of both your AC and furnace. 


A well-insulated home will keep your space cool in the summer and warm in the winter because heat and cool air won’t seep out. How well your attic floor is insulated can make a significant difference in the efficiency of your HVAC system. Attics tend to absorb a lot of heat from the sun during the summer, ultimately heating up your home. A larger AC would compensate for the additional heat coming in through the attic. 

Ceiling Height

BTU recommendations are based on homes with standard 8-foot ceilings, but if your ceilings are higher, you must factor that into choosing the right size AC. 


The more people and animals you have living in your home, the warmer it will be. Humans and animals give off heat constantly, which can influence the size of the AC you choose. You should add 100 BTUs to your calculation for every person in your home. 

Professional Sizing and Installation

Working with a professional when choosing your new AC size is critical. While calculations can be done on your own as a homeowner, having an expert opinion is valuable, especially when it comes to an investment like a new AC. Spring’s Servicing and Heating has been serving the Calgary area since 1971, and our expert installers are some of the best in the business. 

Among the factors we’ve already discussed, we also consider the layout of your home, the number of windows, building materials, appliances, ductwork, and much more to get a precise calculation. 

Risks of Installing the Wrong AC Size

Uncomfortable Temperature Variations

An oversized HVAC system can lead to uncomfortable temperature extremes in your home. While it can heat or cool your space quickly, this speed often results in several issues. First, your home may not experience gradual, even heating and cooling, leading to hot or cold spots in various rooms. 

Second, in cooling mode, an appropriately sized HVAC system effectively dehumidifies the air. However, oversized systems often don’t run long enough for this process to occur, resulting in a cool but clammy and uncomfortable home. These issues can significantly impact long-term comfort and lead to higher energy costs.

Short Cycling Problems

Oversized HVAC units tend to cool your home too quickly, causing rapid temperature swings that prompt the system to start and stop frequently, a phenomenon known as “short cycling.” This constant on-and-off cycling can cause excessive wear on components like the compressor and blower fan motor. If left unchecked, short cycling can significantly reduce the efficiency and lifespan of your HVAC system.

Reduced System Lifespan

Properly sized residential heating and cooling systems typically last 12 to 20 years with adequate care and maintenance. Unfortunately, oversized HVAC systems often don’t achieve this lifespan. The frequent short cycling and excessive strain on components lead to premature failure. As a result, you may need to replace your HVAC system sooner than expected, incurring additional costs and inconvenience.

The Benefits of Carrier Air Conditioners

When it comes to home comfort, Carrier stands out as a leader in HVAC innovation. With its state-of-the-art products and network of highly trained experts, Carrier empowers you to make the best choice for your home. Their products offer proven reliability, ensuring peace of mind with a trusted and dependable choice. 

As a Carrier Authorized Dealer, Spring’s Servicing and Heating are local experts you can trust who offer the best quality air conditioners on the market. Carrier systems are designed for long-term savings, helping you reduce energy costs while maintaining superior comfort, which is why we’re proud to offer them.

Carrier AC Installation in Calgary

Ready to make your home comfortable throughout the hot summer months? Spring’s proudly offers Carrier Air Conditioner installation services for Calgary, Cochrane, and surrounding areas. Whether you’re installing air conditioning in a new or existing home, we can help you choose the right size and type of unit to suit your needs. Don’t wait for the summer heat to hit. Contact us today for a no-obligation quote, and let us help you stay comfortable this summer with a new air conditioner. Experience the benefits of professional installation and enjoy a cool, comfortable home all year round. Learn more about our Carrier AC installation in Calgary and the today.