When it comes to air conditioning units, size does matter. So, the old adage “bigger is better” should be right, right? After all, a three-ton AC unit works better than a two-ton. Wrong! Apparently, the size does matter phrase is not so straightforward and it needs some explaining.
Knowing how to get the right-sized AC system is tricky and there are a lot of things to consider. Also, you’ll need to think about the size and specifications of other components as well, such as getting the right ducts, vents or ventilators.
When your AC system is too small
You’ll easily notice within the first hot summer days if your central AC system is too small for your home. It will run constantly, often at full power, to catch up with the normal comfort settings required. Your home will be cool and comfortable, the air will be breathable, but you will notice that the AC unit is struggling to keep up with the outdoor-indoor temperature difference. The AC system will run up your electricity bill as fast as lightning, and, what’s worse, you won’t be able to stop it even for an hour because it won’t be able to cool the air rapidly again. Basically, you’ll have to keep the AC system working at maximum power at all times, 24/7, without any pause. Obviously, this is not good for the AC unit’s overall lifespan – keep in mind that modern AC units are not designed to work full time for weeks on end, they are designed to work in sessions, cooling the air slowly and steadily, to reduce power consumption.
When your AC system is too big
A too big AC system for your home may seem comfortable during the first few hot summer months, but, in time, you will see its shortcomings. Typically, an oversized AC system will cool your home in just a few hours, then shut down completely. After several hours, when the temperature is up again, it will turn on and cool your home in a few hours and turn off again. This never-ending on-off cycle will bump up your electricity bill in no time. Essentially, your oversized AC system will work at maximum capacity for several hours every day, and then turn off completely – and it was not designed to work that way.
When your AC system is just right
A properly sized AC system will run smoothly for 10 to 14 hours every day, at medium capacity. It will run through the required cycles, depending on the exterior weather, to keep the house comfortable. The power consumption will be around the median values, as determined by the manufacturer.
Consult with a certified HVAC installer about your home’s air conditioning needs — they’ll be able to evaluate your home, recommend system and ductwork sizing, and even provide energy-saving tips about where your house may be losing heating or cooling. To get a ballpark figure of the costs you might expect, you can check out this handy tool provided by Adam’s Air Conditioning in Port St. Lucie Florida.