Why Does the Size of my Air Conditioner Matter?

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BIGGER is better, the saying goes. After all, if your current air conditioner, or furnace, isn’t keeping up, why wouldn’t you just increase the size, and call it a day? That’s what the “experts” say to do, so you, as the homeowner, have to trust them, right?

In short, NO!!!

Imagine the scenario of a home that was built 50 years ago. The builder, at the time installed a heating and cooling system that took care of the homeowner’s needs. Low, and behold, 25 years later, they need a new HVAC system, and the contractor does the old “rule of thumb” technique. This, of course, is the process by which the contractor simply takes the size of the home, and essentially guesses at what size of equipment is needed to properly heat and cool the home. 25 years ago, the theory of Bigger is Better was prevalent, and ended up being used more often than not. That means that the current system that is in your home is not only 25 years old, but could easily be over sized as well. This is a problem!

So What???

Over sizing the air conditioner, and/or furnace can cause some pretty serious problems.

  • For example, an over sized air conditioner can short-cycle, which causes the cooling system in your home to run more often, and for shorter periods of time. This results in a very humid home, during the months that you don’t want humidity in your home! It creates a vicious cycle, whereby you are turning down your thermostat to stay cool, but it freezes you out of your home, because it runs so often, and never gets to the level of comfort that you desire.
  • The larger air conditioner will actually end up costing you more money in the long run, because it will run more often, and work harder in the process.
  • The over sized equipment can also cause unnecessary noise in your home as well. This is due to the larger blower motor pushing more air through a smaller space (the duct) than it will allow. As you can imagine, this will cause more problems than just noise!
  • You may have to replace the air conditioner/furnace sooner than you should because it will be running more often, which will wear out the parts inside the equipment.

Check out the Energy Star website for more third-party information on the importance of sizing your cooling equipment correctly.

You can also call Santa Fe Air at 913.856.5801 to ask more questions, or have one of our comfort consultants come out to your home to ensure that your equipment is properly sized.