All About AC Sizes: Is Bigger Always Better?
Updated: Aug 16, 2018
In our society, we tend to think of bigger as better. We want bigger houses with bigger lawns, bigger entertainment systems, and often, we prefer bigger cooling systems. After all, the bigger the system the better it will be able to cool your home, right? However, that’s not always the case, and sometimes an AC unit that’s too big can lead to bigger HVAC bills, which no one wants.
On the other hand, too-small AC systems can lead to problems all their own. The best plan is actually to find a happy medium. But first let’s talk about the issues misfitted systems can cause for your home cooling.
If your cooling system is oversized, you’re probably going to have short cooling cycles because it will take a shorter amount of time to cool your home. That might sound like a good thing initially, but in actuality, it leads to more drastic temperature changes that can cause high humidity levels. The higher your humidity, the more likely you are to have problems with mold and mildew in your system, putting your home’s indoor air quality in danger. Cooling systems that are too big and have short cycles also lead to higher energy bills, so not only have you paid for a larger unit, but you’ll continue paying monthly for the poor energy efficiency.
Oversized cooling systems are far from ideal, but that doesn’t mean that a smaller system is necessarily better. Your cooling system can also be too small for your home, and when that’s the case, it has to work twice as hard to keep your home cool. Like a shirt or pair of pants or shoes that are too small for the wearer, small cooling units tend to wear down quickly, which can cause a host of operational problems. Not only will your energy bills go up, but your system will be more likely to break down or exhaust. Air flow might move too slowly or fail to reach certain parts of the home, causing areas that are stuffy and uncomfortable.
So size matters when it comes to AC units, but not in the way we’ve become accustomed to thinking of it. The size of your AC unit should correspond to the size of the home it’s trying to cool. But what is the right size for your home? It depends on two factors primarily: the size of your home and your insulation. For instance, if you have conventional blow-in insulation, you want an AC unit with a cooling capacity of about one ton per 500-600 square feet. However, foam insulation — which tends to seal the house more efficiently than blow-in insulation, is better suited to a ratio of 700-900 square feet per ton.
Do you think your AC unit might be too large or too small? Contact Air Solutions in Bryan-College Station today. We can determine the problem with your AC fit and help you find a replacement that’s the right size for your home.