It’s a common saying – “Bigger is Better”. This may be true of many things, such as steak, piña coladas, or TVs, but it is absolutely not true of air conditioners. Because it can get so hot here in the South, homeowner often mistakenly think that they need the biggest air conditioner they can find to keep their home at a comfortable temperature. The problem with this myth is that you’re setting yourself up for something else that isn’t better when it’s big – a huge energy bill.
The problem with an air conditioner that is too big for your home is that it cannot run efficiently. Modern air conditioners are designed to run in a slow and steady manner, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature for long periods of time. Air conditioners that are too large will start and stop constantly, which prevents the unit from running in a way that saves you money. All that starting and stopping takes extra energy. Sure, it will likely cool your home quickly, but that temperature won’t be maintained in the same way that it would be with a properly sized system.
Another major problem with air conditioners that are too large for your home is an issue with keeping things dry. Air conditioners usually begin the dehumidification process somewhere between 8-10 minutes into their cooling cycle. If an air conditioner is too large for a space, it will likely register that the home has been cooled to the requested temperature before dehumidification can begin. Here in Birmingham, that is a major issue – it is humid here in the summer, and anything we can do to prevent mold and mildew is welcomed! So if you want a house that is as dry as it is cool, stay away from monster-sized systems.
How Do I Know What Size Is Right For My Home?
There are many factors that go into determining what sized air conditioner is right for a given space. It isn’t just a matter of square footage – techs also take into consideration things like ceiling height, windows, the age of a home, whether or not there are drafts present, and how many people are living in the house.
To determine the right size unit for your home, calling in a professional can be extremely helpful. A good technician will do a full inspection of your home and ask questions about your everyday routines and usage of your current air conditioning system. If you are building a new home, the tech will likely want to look at plans and learn a little more about future considerations that may need to be taken into account (such as a growing family). From there, the tech will be able to recommend not only sizing but products that will suit your particular needs, as well as save you money on energy costs and repairs over the life of your system.