When it comes to your air conditioning system, it may seem like more cooling power is always better. We live in Arkansas, after all, where summers are notoriously hot and humid. But did you know that it’s possible to have too much cooling power?
Having an AC unit that’s too large can be just as bad as having a unit that’s too small. Here’s what you need to know about air conditioner sizing.
Signs that Your Air Conditioner Is the Wrong Size
As important as proper AC unit sizing is, many homeowners here in the Fayetteville area have poorly sized air conditioners installed in their homes. Oversized air conditioners are especially common.
Your AC unit may be oversized if…
...it “short cycles,” or runs for only a few minutes at a time before shutting off again. When this happens, your air conditioning system cannot adequately remove moisture from the air, leaving your home uncomfortably sticky. Oversized AC systems also cost more to run.
Your AC unit may be undersized if…
...it runs constantly without ever really cooling your home. Again, this means your air conditioner cannot properly do its job of cooling and dehumidifying your home. Undersized AC systems also cost more money to run.
Why Is AC Unit Sizing Important?
Air conditioners are sized not according to their physical dimensions but according to how much cooling power they provide (measured in BTUs or tons). Many different factors come together to determine what size air conditioner your house needs — and it’s not just about square footage. If you were to take a house in Northwest Arkansas and place it somewhere in Arizona, for example, that same house would suddenly have completely different cooling needs.
To calculate what size unit your house needs, an HVAC specialist needs to perform what’s called a Manual J load calculation. Manual J is the measurement of the heating, cooling, and ventilation capacity (in BTUs) for your individual home. The Manual J calculation takes several factors into account, including:
How high the ceilings are
Window size and efficiency
Air leaks and infiltration
Orientation of house
Without this essential Manual J calculation, you’ll end up with a unit that’s too large or too small for your home — and that means reduced indoor comfort, higher utility bills, and more wear and tear for your AC system.
Get More from Your AC System with Proper Unit Sizing
Does your air conditioner seem poorly sized for your home? BurtonWright Mechanical can help. As air conditioning installation experts in northern Arkansas, we understand the importance of proper AC unit sizing. We perform the necessary calculations with every project we take on and always ensure a precise installation to give our customers the most from their AC investment.