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The Importance of Sizing Your Air Conditioner Properly

Selecting a new air conditioner requires a lot of careful and thorough consideration. Before you choose a new system, you’ll need to consider things like how efficient you wish your system to be, what kind of features it has, and how much it will cost. However, beyond all of these things, you’ll also need to carefully consider one factor that we find far too many people don’t put enough thought into: how big it is. And no, we’re not talking about its dimensions in your closet or attic, but rather how much air it can bring in, treat, and then distribute back out into your home over a certain period of time.

Why Is Size So Important?

Air conditioner size is so important because getting a system that’s the wrong size can have tremendous detrimental consequences for your home, costing you thousands of extra dollars in the long run. Whether it’s too large or too small, you’re headed for trouble if your air conditioner isn’t the right size for your needs. Air conditioner size is generally measured in terms of “tons,” but that doesn’t mean how much it weighs, but rather how much air it can process in an hour. The more tonnage it can process, the more air it can output, but as we’ll see, that’s not always a good thing.

System is Too Large

When you choose an air conditioner that’s too large for your home’s needs, all sorts of things could happen. For starters, your system will push way too much air through your ducts, which won’t be able to handle that amount of flow. Air ducts can only transport so much air at one time, and trying to force more than that through will create a pressure problem inside your ducts, potentially causing them to crack and become damaged. Think of it like blowing up a balloon, only without the skin that’s designed to stretch and inflate.

A system that’s too large will also create an air pressure problem in your home, which could result in things like slamming doors, cracking window seals, and other issues. You’ll know if you’re experiencing an air pressure problem if you feel a pressure change in your ears when you open or close a door leading outside your home.

Finally, systems that are too large have a tendency to “short cycle,” or turn on and off within the span of a few minutes. This is caused by a system that’s too large convincing your thermostat that the job is complete, only to discover a few moments later than the small amount of air that was processed wasn’t nearly enough. As a result, your system turns back on again, and the process starts over. This not only increases wear and tear on your brand new system, causing it to break down quickly, but wastes a ton of energy, since systems use the most while they are turning on and getting going.

System is Too Small

A system that’s too small isn’t as bad as a system that’s too large, but you’re still only going to wind up disappointed in the long run. When your system can’t output enough air to keep your home consistently comfortable, it’s going to run almost constantly to try and reach its temperature goal. As a result, the system will wear out faster, and you’ll be stuck having to repair a system that’s struggling to even keep you comfortable in the first place.

Not only that, but the air that your system puts out will likely be warmer by the time it reaches its destination at the far reaches of your home because the air pressure that pushes it through your duct system is inadequate to get it there fast enough to the point where it can sustain its temperature. Of course, appropriate duct insulation will help prevent this or minimize the issue, but any problems with your insulation will only compound the problem.

Get help choosing the right size air conditioner for your home by calling Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC today at (888) 660-4337 to speak with a Palm Beach County air conditioning expert!