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How to Properly Size a Temporary Cooling Need

Our custom engineering systems will result in a properly sized temporary cooling solution to save you time, money, and carbon emissions.

Cooling systems are not immune to the second law of thermodynamics. They require maintenance and eventually replacement. Both scenarios call for exceptional temporary equipment and experienced solutions. Trane Rental Service offers both!

Properly sizing and installing these temporary cooling systems requires careful planning and attention to detail. Failure to do so is ripe with risks. For example, mis-sizing the proper loop volume can lead to short cycling of compressors and temperature control swings. Improperly loaded generators could wet stack and shut down. There are many other consequences—including insufficient cooling and excessive humidity—and they all result in a loss of productivity, profits, and peace of mind.

That’s why, instead of relying on popular but imprecise rule-of-thumb or ton-for-ton sizing methodologies, Trane Rental Services uses proprietary software to accurately calculate cooling loads (not just BTU loads) and airflow requirements. Our engineered solutions are custom-tailored to your specific needs.

Here are some factors we consider to ensure that your temporary system is properly sized, thereby being maximally efficient, effective, and adequate for your temporary cooling needs during the duration of the rental.

  1. Calculate the Cooling Load: To properly size an HVAC system, the cooling load (measured in BTUs or Tons) must be accurately calculated. This is the amount of heat your cooling system must remove from a space to maintain a constant temperature. Factors to consider include the volume of the space, the number of people using the space, heat-generating equipment and lighting in the space, and the construction of the building. Furthermore, how much fresh air is being introduced into the space, the desired indoor temperature and humidity level, and the average outdoor temperature will need to be considered.

  2. Calculate Air Distribution Requirements: It is critical to determine the required airflow rate (measured in CFM) to distribute the cooled air evenly throughout the space. This depends on factors such as the size and shape of the space, the location of the cooling equipment, and any obstructions that may affect air circulation.

  3. Choose the Right System: Once you know the cooling load and air distribution parameters, the most energy efficient and effective system can be selected for your precise needs. Trane’s rental experts will guide product and accessory (e.g., flex duct) selection, so time, energy, and money are conserved. We manufacture the equipment (OEM) and intimately know how it runs and how it can be modified for your specific application.

  4. Place the Unit Properly: Where and how you install the portable cooling unit is also important. In addition to being accessible to adequate power, the unit should be placed in a level location—ideally in shade—that allows for maximum airflow and is away from any obstructions that could block the airflow and reduce the unit’s efficiency.

  5. Maintain the System Regularly: Commercial HVAC products are complex. Things like flow rate, PSI readings, refrigerant levels, and temperature setpoints need constant monitoring. That is why we include easily dissectible digital dashboards that provide transparent insight into your product. These active remote monitoring solutions also allow our engineers to proactively detect and address system warnings and malfunctions to maintain optimal performance and prevent costly maintenance.

With custom-engineered solutions, we will help to reduce the time, expense, and attendant emissions of rental equipment by providing a comprehensive and properly sized system. We provide OEM rental equipment that matches or exceeds the current performance of existing equipment to minimize downtime and keep performance reliably optimized to meet your temporary cooling needs for the duration of the rental period. 


When renting cooling, questions to be answered for proper sizing and optimal performance include:

  • Anticipated length of rental?
  • External location?
  • Internal space dimensions (LxWxH)?
  • Ambient outdoor temperature?
  • Lighting type and estimated watts or kW/SQFT?
  • Any additional heat loads rejected to the space (kW, BTUH, etc.)?
  • Number of occupants in the space?
  • Building construction materials, insulation, and thickness?
  • Entering water/air temperature?
  • Leaving water/air temperature?
  • Flow rate?
  • Loop time?
  • Fluid concentration & type?
  • Operating pressure > 150 psi?
  • Available voltage and amperage?
  • Desired temperature setpoints?
  • Desired space relative humidity (%)?
  • Conditioning 100% outside air, mixing, return air only?
  • EAT, CFM and LAT (for AHUs & packaged DX units)?

We'll help every step of the way!

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We’ll meet you where you are and help you intelligently prepare for planned maintenance, special events and emergency situations.