It’s that time of year again–summertime! If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to make sure your air conditioner is ready to handle the heat, through professional maintenance. Of course, your system may be past this point and need to be replaced, if it’s older. In this case, now is the perfect time to buy a new system–but this isn’t a purchase you want to rush into.
Too often, homeowners go out and just buy the biggest, most powerful air conditioner on the market. If you don’t have an experienced professional on your side, there might not be anyone trying to stop you, but unfortunately the average homeowner doesn’t know how to properly size an air conditioner! This might come as a surprise, but an oversized/overpowered air conditioner can be just as detrimental to your comfort and energy efficiency as one that is too small/underpowered. Read on to learn more!
The Problem with an Undersized AC System
As you probably already understand, at least to some extent, an undersized and underpowered cooling system simply cannot keep up with your household’s cooling demands. It forces the system to run longer and essentially work harder than it should have to in order to do its job, and as a result, you can expect a spike in your utility bills.
Additionally, an undersized system can’t keep your home as cool and comfortable as you’d like. During our sweltering summer days, this just isn’t an option, right? It’s best to ensure that you have a properly sized air conditioner installed from the start.
The Problem with an Oversized AC System
This is the sizing problem that homeowners are usually less familiar with. While you might assume that an oversized/overpowered unit would be better for keeping you cool, this simply is not the case. In fact, it’s really inefficient. This is because the best air conditioning efficiency happens through continued operation and regular cycles.
When a cooling system is too large for the home its installed in, the temperature you set on your thermostat will be reached too quickly, before the system has the opportunity to complete a full cooling cycle. This problem is known as short-cycling.
Short-cycling isn’t a problem anyone wants to deal with. Not only is it really inefficient and costly as a result, it causes strain on your air conditioning system, and makes wear and tear accumulate faster. The only way to “repair” a system that’s short-cycling due to a sizing issue is to replace the system altogether, unfortunately.
Finding the Right Sized Air Conditioner
So what’s the answer to finding the right sized air conditioner? Working with an experienced professional right from the beginning! We’ll do something called a cooling load calculation, where we look at a number of factors such as the square footage of your home, how many windows and doors there are, and the type of insulation you have. This will help us help you make an educated decision about what type of air conditioner to have installed in addition to the proper sizing.