Think about your car…. how it runs, what’s required for it to get efficient gas mileage, what maintenance tasks make for a good, comfortable ride.
Now, what if you thought about your air conditioner the same way? Look, we get it–if you’re shopping for an air conditioner this time of the year, chances are you’re in a rush and ready to get a new cooling system right now.
As aggravating as it may be to not have a functional air conditioner during the peak of summer, it’s going to be even more frustrating to have your comfort and AC efficiency impacted by incorrect sizing upon installation. Read on to learn more, and when you are ready for installation, contact our team to get set up with the right system for your specific space and needs.
What We Mean By AC “Size”
When we talk about the sizing of your air conditioner, we’re not referring to the actual volume of your air conditioner (though, that does play a small role). What we’re actually referring to is the amount of power your air conditioner has to consume in order to cool a certain amount of space in your home.
This measurement is expressed in “tons” and the larger the number of tons, or tonnage, your air conditioner has, the larger the space it can effectively cool. But… this means that not only can an air conditioner be undersized, and therefore underpowered, your air conditioner could potentially be oversized, too.
Why Is An Oversized Air Conditioner a Problem?
Many folks think that the bigger the air conditioner, the better. After all, won’t an oversized air conditioner cool your home faster?
Yes… but at a cost.
Since an oversized air conditioner cools the space it’s in so quickly, it shuts off too early, typically after it cools the area immediately beside the evaporator unit. This process is called short-cycling and can leave other parts of your home still uncomfortably warm.
Additionally, short-cycling is rough on your air conditioner. It exacerbates wear and tear and can decrease the lifespan of your air conditioner while increasing repair needs.
The Importance of Cooling Load Calculations
When you contact a professional team such as ours, we’ll do something called a cooling load calculation before we even begin the installation of your home.
We look at not only the square footage of your living space, or the space the air conditioner is going to be installed, but also the number of windows and doors in the space, the type and level of insulation, the shape of your ductwork, and even how high the ceilings are pitched.
All of this helps us determine what tonnage is required to cool your property evenly and efficiently. When you combine a great, careful installation like this with routine maintenance each year (or every 6 months in the case of a heat pump system) you can count on your air conditioner to only need minimal repairs throughout its 10-15 year useful service life.