Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/how big a mini-split do I need?

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Question
My wife is converting our screened porch to a hair salon (one dryer unit).  We are having the porch glassed in with Low-E gas-filled windows so there will be lots of sunlight allowed in.  The porch is on the South side of the house and gets lots of sun (especially in the summer).  We are located in Richmond, VA so the temps can get very hot here in the summer!  I will be using fiberglass roll insulation in the crawl space under the flooring which consists of the original decking boards, topped with 3/8" underlayment and laminate hardwood flooring.  The square footage of the room is 12'w x 15'l x 8'h (1440 cubic feet).  We want to install a mini-split ac/heat unit but are not sure what capacity rating it should have for the size and conditions of the room.  We would like to be able to maintain a year-round temp of approximately 72 degrees.  Can you recommend what specs I should be looking for in a mini-split (I'm looking at the Fujitsu brand) that will handle these requirements efficiently?  Many thanks!

Answer
You have most of the specs required, but a load calculation is a very detailed calculation. It would also require knowing the attic specs, insulation, construction, any doors, the length of the wall or walls to conditioned space, the exact size and construction of the glass, the BTU output of the one dryer, etc. Only an HVAC contractor can view the site and make a workable calculation. You only want to spend this once, so you need a detailed calculation performed to ensure the correct size unit is installed. Off the cuff without the other elements, I would say you will need at least a two ton or 24,000 btu unit. Thanks, J

Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

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J Cook

Expertise

With 25+ years experience, I am familiar with residential, commercial, and industrial HVAC equipment including but not limited to boilers, chillers, reciprocating and screw compressors. I am trained in all manners of control wiring.

Experience

I currently have three HVAC licenses and Refrigeration license by the State of North Carolina. I have been in this field for over twenty years. I have been a service technician for a contractor and also worked at a state college in the repair and maintenance of steam lines and equipment. I am currently the Building Maintenance Superintendent for a municipality.

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