Sizing is an important yet often overlooked aspect of choosing a new air conditioning system. In today’s post, one of the DC Metropolitan area’s leading HVAC and duct cleaning companies, Home Air Services, discusses what happens when you choose an air conditioner that’s too big for your home.
One thing your HVAC contractor will ask you about is the floor area of your home’s living spaces, Your home’s indoor cooling requirements will be derived from this number. This will also help determine your air conditioner make and model. Choose an air conditioner that’s too small, and it will end up redlining all the time in an effort to meet your home’s baseline cooling needs, which can result in premature AC failure.
Choosing an oversized air conditioner, on the other hand—one that has too much headroom for your home’s cooling requirements — presents its own set of problems:
Short cycling — Short cycling occurs when the air conditioner puts out too much cool air in too short a time. When this happens, the thermostat shuts down the air conditioner too quickly, resulting in short cooling cycles. This stop-start operation can strain the air conditioner and may cause premature failure, even with proper air conditioner maintenance.
Increased humidity — Cool air is a natural dehumidifier, which explains why the air is so dry in the winter. An insufficient supply of cool air from the air conditioner will prevent dehumidification, which can lead to condensation and, in turn, mold growth.
Uneven cooling — Instead of continuously releasing cool air, an oversized AC will do this in bursts. This can result in uneven cooling, meaning some parts of the room will end up warm. If conditioned air is distributed through air ducts, some of the rooms down the line might not receive cool air at all.
Higher energy bills — HVAC manufacturers recommend running air conditioners all the time and programming the thermostat as needed, instead of turning it off and on multiple times a day, as doing the latter actually consumes more electricity. The stop-start operation described earlier has the same effect on the air conditioner.
Home Air Services is one the leading air conditioning and home heating companies serving the DC Metropolitan area. Give us a call at (301) 585-8100. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.