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Why Is a Properly Sized AC Unit Important?

When it comes to your cooling system, is the size all that important? Can a cooling system replacement even be too big or too small? In fact it sure can, and either issue can generate lots of problems both now and later! Follow along with the experts at Schneller Knochelmann Plumbing, Heating & Air to find out the pitfalls of a poorly sized system, and the benefits of a perfect fit.

What Is Air Conditioner “Size”?

We should clarify that by size we don’t actually mean the literal dimensions of the cooling system. When a contractor or manufacturer says size what we’re actually talking about is the cooling capacity of your air conditioner. This value is most typically expressed by the BTU (British Thermal Unit), every 20 BTU representing an ability to cool a single square foot of space.

You may also occasionally see the term “ton” used, and in HVAC terms a ton translates to 12,000 BTU of cooling capability. So when you’re looking to “size” your new unit, you’re looking for the system that can put out the cooling power necessary to adequately and efficiently cool your space on demand.

What Can Getting the Wrong Size Do?

An incorrectly sized unit is actually and unfortunately a very common problem, especially for older homes where modifications have been made that change your cooling needs. And this can cause a load of issues, many of which you might not even expect. Both a system too small and one too large can be a big problem.

Problems with Getting a System Too Small

A lot of what you’ll see here is fairly obvious. Systems that are too small often underperform in many ways, including:

  • Failing to generate enough cool. As you’d expect, a system that is less than enough for the task is going to equal to a lot of hot days in your home.
  • Costing too much to operate. Because they never quite get your home cool enough, systems that are too small typically run around the clock and eat up vast amounts of energy.
  • Leaving your home humid. Small units rarely even get to the actual cooling part of their job because they get bogged down with moisture.
  • Failing early. Overworking and excessive moisture both contribute to component wear and eventual AC repairs, often far earlier than should be the case.

Problems with Getting an Oversized Unit

This one actually surprises many folks, but this is actually the much more common sizing problem most HVAC contractors encounter. These gargantuan systems lead to:

  • Constant short-cycling. If a system is too large and powerful, it tends to hit thermostat cool points far too quickly, forcing the system to kick on and off constantly. This not only eats up tons of energy, but also keeps your home from ever really getting that nice even cool you want.
  • High home humidity. An AC system’s secondary job is to remove moisture from the air, but that same issue we just talked about, the short-cycling, prevents an oversized unit from accomplishing this job.
  • A shortened AC lifespan. Again the rapid short-cycling comes into play. Constant on and off states put a ton of stress on your system, often leading to breakdowns or even a need for new AC installation years before it should become necessary.

Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Air Conditioner Installation

Whenever you need reliable air conditioner installation services, call Schneller Knochelmann Plumbing, Heating & Air. We’ll be there fast and we’ll treat you like family.

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