Here's why an oversized central air conditioner is always a bad thing
For those of us graduating up to a new, more efficient system, a central air conditioner can seem like a pretty fabulous luxury. However, the costs of an air conditioning installation are serious enough to warrant research before making that leap. One of the most common mistakes is assuming that a larger unit means a cooler home. This isn’t necessarily the case. While size and capacity are often tied together, there are disadvantages to choosing a central air conditioner that is too large for your needs.
This misconception – bigger is always better – is pervasive, especially when the purchaser isn’t really familiar with the technology they’re adopting. Let’s review a few key misunderstandings.
Myth: Bigger units will save me money because they won’t run as often.
That’s half right. A larger unit will run less often, but it will actually cost you more money. It can take up to ten minutes for an air conditioner to reach maximum efficiency after startup; this means that much like stopping and starting your car over and over, you’re actually wasting resources. This is called short cycling, and it’s bad for your air conditioner and your wallet.
Another commonly overlooked factor is humidity. A central air conditioner is also dehumidifying your space. Until the unit is already running efficiently (that takes the aforementioned 10 minutes or so), it isn’t dehumidifying much at all. Humidity feels like heat, we all know that, so you end up cranking down your thermostat to make the room feel more comfortable. Again, you’re wasting money – and energy. Every degree of cooling jacks up the cost to run your A/C.
Plus an air conditioner needs run time to properly dehumidify. An overpowered central air conditioner will cool the home quickly and cycle off before the humidity has been reduced to a comfortable level. The result? You’ll wind up lowering the temperature just to reach your desired level of comfort, regardless of temperature.
As a Carrier dealer, I can tell you that a trusted HVAC professional is a huge help when it comes to sizing your air conditioner properly for your home. There are just too many variables to consider for the average consumer. You have to account for square footage, insulation in the walls and the attic, solar load in homes with alternative energy sources, whether or not the building is drafty, and how many people dwell beneath that roof. Oh, and ceiling height. It’s a huge number of factors, and missing any of them can lead to an oversized unit.
Often you will come across online “calculators” purported to help you figure out which unit you need to order. Avoid these except for getting very basic parameters. They simply aren’t able to account for the specificities of your home. So many simple energy upgrades can decrease the size of the unit you need. Follow these basic guidelines – and track down a great HVAC contractor – and your air conditioning installation will be a very cool breeze.
Call us today for your free estimate on a new central air conditioner here in Clearwater. Get the straight facts and save up to $1300. Call 727-270-9125!