Summer is right around the corner, and anyone who has lived here for even just a year can tell you how variable our temperatures are—meaning we could either have a cool summer or an extremely hot one. If we do have the latter, you’re going to want a powerful and reliable air conditioner on your side. So, if you’ve found yourself facing a replacement, now is the time to consider what exactly you want and need from a cooling system.
We get it—your first instinct is likely to buy the biggest, most powerful air conditioning system on the market, especially if you’ve spent previous summers sweating bullets as your previous air conditioner struggled. But we really want to discourage you from rushing into this decision, because it may surprise you but… bigger isn’t always better.
Read on as we dive into this further, and uncover the problem with not only air conditioner that are too small for the space they’re installed in, but also too large.
The Problem with a Small Air Conditioner
As you probably understand, an undersized—referred to as underpowered—air conditioner simply will not be able to keep up with your home’s cooling needs. It will force the system to run longer, and essentially work harder than it should have to in order to do its job. As a result, you can pretty much expect your energy bills to spike.
Additionally, an undersized system won’t be able to keep your home as comfortable as you would like. If we’re in the middle of one of the hottest days of summer, you can probably imagine this being a problem. It’s better to make sure that you have a properly sized air conditioner installed right from the start.
The Problem with a Big Air Conditioner
This is a problem that homeowners are often a little less familiar with. While you might thing that an oversized unit is better for keeping a home cool, it’s actually pretty inefficient. This is because ideal air conditioning efficiency happens through continued operation and regular cycles.
When an air conditioning system is too big for the home, the desired temperature will be reached too quickly, before the system has the chance to complete a full cooling cycle. This is a problem known as short-cycling.
Short-cycling is not something you ever want to deal with. Not only is it extremely inefficient, but it also causes strain on your air conditioner, and creates a faster accumulation of wear and tear. The only way to “fix” this problem—short-cycling due to an oversized system—is to replace the system with an appropriately-sized one.
“How Do I Buy the Right Sized Air Conditioner?”
This is a fantastic question! The answer is, “call your trusted HVAC professional”! We do something called a cooling load calculation. This is when we look at a number of factors. Yes, the square footage of your home is an important factor, but we will also look at how high your ceilings are, what type of insulation and building materials your home has, and even how many windows and doors are in the home.
From there, we determine what the right size and fit will be for your space, and can guide you in your air conditioner purchase.