Why Is Installing a Properly Sized Air Conditioner Important?
Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. One of those things is the air conditioning equipment in your house. If the contractor who built your house did not properly estimate the size of your air conditioning equipment, you could be paying more money than you need every month on your power bill during the summer months. When it comes time to replace your air conditioning equipment, do not automatically go off the equipment size in your house. You'll want one of the HVAC companies in Conroe, TX, to come in, do an analysis of several different factors, and get it right.
Properly Sized Air Conditioning Equipment
If your air conditioning equipment is too small, the system does not have the capacity to create enough cold air for the square footage of the house. Basically, the house will never reach the optimal cooler temperature that's set on the thermostat. Another issue with equipment that is too small is that the air conditioning equipment will constantly run in order to create cold air. It continuously receives the signal that the house has not reached the optimal cooling point and will run and run to try and get there. This costs lots in energy and puts undue strain on the equipment leading to early equipment failure.
If your air conditioning equipment is too big, the system will short cycle. When air conditioning equipment has too much capacity for the square footage of a home, the thermostat shuts down the air conditioning equipment too early, before the air conditioning cycle is complete. This is known as short cycling. This is when the air conditioning turns on and off in shorter intervals than the equipment is designed for. Short cycles of turning on and off over and over will wear out the equipment, and you'll need to replace sooner rather than later.
Another issue with air conditioning equipment that is too big is excess humidity in the air. With the short cycles, the air conditioning doesn't run long enough to circulate air, removing moisture from the air. In a home that is too humid, the air temperature feels warm, and you'll always be lowering the thermostat because the air doesn't feel cold enough. Humid air can also lead to mold growth, which causes poor indoor air quality and musty odors.
Calculating the Right Equipment Size
Calculating the right size air conditioning equipment is best left to the professionals. Some HVAC companies use a rule-of-thumb approach to come up with a general size. Other HVAC companies load figures into software and let the computer do the work.
Air conditioning equipment capacity is measured by tonnage. This is not the actual weight of the equipment, but rather the power and capacity to generate cold air. The higher the tonnage, the more capacity. The larger the house in terms of square footage, the more tonnage is needed to cool the house. To get technical, one ton of air conditioning has the ability to cool 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Unit) in one hour. Two tons of air conditioning has the ability to cool 24,000 BTUs, and so on. For smaller homes, 1.5 to 2 tons provides adequate cooling. Larger homes may need up to a 5-ton unit, or two smaller 2.5-ton units – one unit for the upstairs and one unit for the downstairs.
Properly sized air conditioning equipment will operate on the necessary cycles to cool a house, without undue burden on the equipment. By operating efficiently, as the air conditioning equipment was designed to do, it will consume the least amount of energy possible to provide you with a cool home environment. To determine if your air conditioning is properly sized, you can request a heating and cooling company to provide an HVAC inspection.