There’s nothing quite like walking into your home on a steaming hot summer day to feel the refreshing “woosh” of your air conditioner. Here in the South, we tend to take this marvel of technology for granted – after all, it is the invention that made our summers substantially more bearable. But is your air conditioner constantly running? Or does it seem to have a hard time deciding whether it once to be on or off?
If you’re noticing any of the symptoms below chances are you have an air conditioner that is the wrong size for your home. There are several ways you can end up with an air conditioner that isn’t meant for the square footage of your home, but the results of a mis-sized system are unmistakable. Besides not always keeping your home the right temperature, a system that is too large or too small can mean increased energy bills, and no one likes to pay more for heating or cooling than is necessary.
Are you living with a system that is the wrong size for your living space? Watch out for these signs:
Your System Is On Again, Off Again
While watching TV, you hear that familiar “click” that tells you the air conditioner is on, followed by a cool breeze. You feel refreshed, but only briefly – a second “click” tells you the air conditioner is off. A short time later, it’s back on again – then off again. What is going on?!
A system that turns on, then off, in rapid succession is an indication that it is too large for the space. Bigger is always better, right? Not when it comes to HVAC. All that turning on and turning off again uses a lot of energy, which means more money spent every month on cooling costs.
Your System Never Stops
Imagine another scenario – you’re watching TV, and you hear the familiar “click” of the air conditioner turning on. Your show ends, and you realize the air conditioner is still running. After an hour of The Bachelor, it’s still running, but your home doesn’t feel that cold. What gives?
In this scenario, you likely have an HVAC system that is too small for your home. It’s working extra hard to try to cool your home, but it just doesn’t have the power necessary to get the space down to the proper temperature. And all that constant running? You guessed it – the longer the system runs, the higher your energy bills rise.
Luckily, there are a few quick fixes for this scenario that will allow you to put off replacing your system. First, make sure your thermostat is set to a reasonable temperature – if it is set too low, your system will never reach the mark. You can also opt to install a mini-split system, use window units, or even just try some fans to see if that will get the space to a more comfortable temperature without having to spend thousands of dollars on a replacement.
You Have Rooms That Are Too Hot or Too Cold
Have you ever been in a home or office that had rooms that were always way too hot or cold in the summer? This can be an indication of a few problems, one being that the air conditioner is the wrong size. Smaller systems can easily chill the room with the thermostat, but it may not be powerful enough to get all the rooms lowered to the same temperature.
Luckily, this symptom has a few fixes that won’t cost an arm and a leg. One way to stick a Band-Aid on the problem is by setting your home up with zoning. This will help your A/C determine which areas still require cooling. You can also have a professional assess your ducts, to see if any changes can be made to help the airflow get to the necessary areas.
Your Home Is Feeling a Bit Sticky
Is your home feeling a little humid? Air conditioners play more than one function – part of the cooling process involves removing moisture from the air, which keeps your home comfortable. Moisture removal also helps to cool your home faster. When the air in your home feels damp, that’s a sign that you have an air conditioner that is too large. As mentioned above, large systems can cool a space very quickly…too quickly for humidity removal, which leaves your home damper than it should be.
If excess moisture is your issue, the quickest fix is to invest in a dehumidifier until you can have a professional inspect your HVAC system and suggest a repair or replacement strategy.
You Dread Getting Your Energy Bill
Notice those electric bills going up, up, up? If you have this combined with any of the issues above, it may be time to contact a professional. Air conditioning systems that are the wrong size aren’t just an inconvenience when it comes to keeping your home comfortable; they’re also a major drain on your pocketbook. The great thing about a reputable HVAC company is that they can likely suggest more quick fixes for your home if you can’t replace your system right away, helping to drop your energy bill and giving you some time to prepare for making a larger investment to correct the issue with HVAC sizing.
Think your system may be the wrong size? Give us a call at (205) 871-8111 to schedule a consultation!