image of why air conditioner size mattersSummer pushes the limits of cooling systems. It often becomes apparent that the old air conditioner can no longer handle the heat. There is no doubt that an air conditioner replacement is necessary when units start breaking down frequently. However, there is confusion as to what kind of air conditioner would work best. Most will be tempted to get a similar model but this might lead to a repeat of past mistakes. Others might be tempted to find the biggest one available, thinking that it will cool their house down faster. It is better to start fresh by rethinking what your house needs based on multiple factors. For example, any new installation should consider air conditioner sizing.

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Why Does Air Conditioner Sizing Matter?

This article discusses some of the reasons why sizing your air conditioner is an absolute must.

What Is A Manual J Load Calculation & Why Is It Important?

A Manual J load calculation is a complex process that considers several influences on the cooling needs of a home. Licensed contractors who understand its intricacies should perform the calculation. They might use advanced software to aid in speed and precision. It is essential for them to quantify house characteristics such as floor area, ceiling height, orientation, building materials, window sizes, local climate, air leakage, insulation, number of occupants, and heat generation of household appliances. The result of the calculation is the cooling load of the home. With this numerical value in hand, there is no need to make any guesses. You will know exactly what you need when it comes to AC size.

Comfort

image of an air conditioner compressor

Air conditioners are supposed to make people feel more comfortable. Cooling is just one component of indoor comfort. ACs should also be able to reduce humidity through condensation. Vapor around the coils turns into water beads that run down the channels. The problem with oversized units is that they cool things down so fast that the cycle ends before enough condensation occurs. The continued high humidity makes the occupants feel sticky and uncomfortable. People tend to lower the temperature setting to seek relief which increases energy consumption. The shorter cycles of oversized units also contribute to a reduction in indoor air quality. The system will force less air into the filters so the cleaning process will suffer.

Undersized units are also problematic. They may not be able to keep up with the cooling needs of the home. It will take them a long time before they reach the desired temperature. On a particularly hot summer day, they might not even be able to counter the warmth of the sun that is radiating from your roof. They will work harder than usual while still falling short of the target. The undersized ACs also run constantly which leads to faster wear and tear. Expect frequent breakdowns and early replacements.

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Air Conditioner Efficiency

image of energy efficiency and air conditioners

When it comes to unit efficiency, choosing a model with a high SEER rating is one of the best ways to guarantee the effective conversion of electrical energy into cooling power. However, homeowners should not stop at this because other factors such as sizing also come into play. A mismatched unit will not be able to reach its potential SEER rating. It will be forced to run sub-optimally, either with extremely shortened or prolonged cycles. They will waste a lot of energy with these kinds of operations. Increased wear and tear will also prevent the unit from running as efficiently as it could. Therefore, there is no point in buying a new air conditioner with a high SEER rating if it is not sized correctly.

Cooling Costs

Mismatched units will drain your wallet from the beginning by making you spend more than you really should on your cooling system. The price goes up with increased horsepower so you should really consider your cooling needs before choosing a unit. The frequent cycling wastes energy and the worn-out parts reduce system efficiency leading to high monthly bills. The extreme stress on the components also leads to repairs and early replacement. Prevent unnecessary expenses through proper sizing from the start. Paying a licensed professional for a Manual J calculation is worth every penny.

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The Problem With Oversized Air Conditioning Units

image of an air conditioner installation by a licensed hvac contractor

To recap, oversized units are problematic because they cool spaces too fast leading to short cycles. This prevents them from effectively lowering indoor humidity with the coils and improving air quality with the filters. The units run at a sub-optimal level which increases energy consumption. Basically, your home will feel cool but humid. They also make people overspend for the unit’s acquisition.

The Problem With Undersized AC Units

Undersized units are just as bad because they are incapable of providing enough cooling power to meet the needs of a space. They won’t be able to bring relief in the summer so their presence is rather questionable. They will run constantly as they try and fail to reach the desired temperature. Components will always be stressed which leads to equipment failures and costly early replacement.

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Conclusion

Air conditioner selection is not a race to the extreme. Being the biggest or the smallest does not guarantee the best possible performance. Although it is easy to assume one or the other, the reality is that every space has different needs. The right unit is the one that meets these unique requirements. Sizing is an important factor when choosing a central air conditioning system because it determines comfort, efficiency, and cost. You should not rely on a simple rule-of-thumb. Instead, find a licensed contractor who uses scientific tools to calculate the exact size that you need for your space.

Call Point Bay Fuel For Your Air Conditioning Requirements

Point-Bay-Fuel-LogoPoint Bay Fuel offers superior heating and cooling services in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, New Jersey. We hire the best-certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

Point Bay Fuel guarantees the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services can improve your comfort, increase your energy efficiency while reducing your home cooling costs. If you happen to need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the best one for your home while staying within your budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, give Point Bay Fuel a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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