Keeping your Bradenton, Florida, home cool is essential when you live in Florida’s warm and humid climate. You rely on your air conditioner to keep your family comfortable all year. But, how do you know if you have the right-sized system for your home? In this article, we will explore what tools and resources HVAC professionals use to determine the proper size, as well as what happens when your system is the wrong size. Read on to learn more about HVAC sizing and why it’s important.
Using a Load Calculation
In order to determine the correct size air conditioner that will keep your home comfortable, professionals perform a load calculation. There are several steps involved in creating a load calculation:
- Measuring the windows and doors and counting how many there are.
- The layout and orientation of your house.
- The amount of carpet and furniture you have.
- How many appliances there are.
- How many occupants live there.
- How much shade and landscaping surrounds the house.
- The square footage of your home.
- How much insulation the home has and the R-value of it.
- How high the ceilings are.
Using these factors, along with mathematical equations and considering temperature variances throughout the year, the HVAC professional will decide the best size system for your home.
Issues with an Undersized System
A system that is too small will run constantly trying to cool your house without ever reaching a comfortable temperature. Air conditioners work by absorbing warm, moist air from your home and expelling it to the outside. Once your home is cool enough, the thermostat sends a message to the air conditioner to shut it off. Once the temperature rises, the unit turns on and the cycle begins again.
An air conditioner that is too small doesn’t have a large enough compressor, condenser coil, evaporator coil, and levels of refrigerant to properly extract enough heat, so it keeps running to try to reach the set temperature. A well-functioning and properly sized air conditioner generally has a 20-30 minute run cycle. If you notice your air conditioner doesn’t shut off after an appropriate amount of time, the system is too small.
Problems with an Oversized System
If you notice that your air conditioner runs in smaller time increments, between eight to 10 minutes, and then shuts off, you have an oversized system. The air conditioner blasts out a lot of cold air, which rapidly cools the immediate area around it and then shuts off. This is called short-cycling. The problem with short-cycle runs is that the rest of the house doesn’t have a chance to cool off before the cycle shuts off. The problem is worse if the thermostat is too close to the air handler where the cold air comes out.
The main functions of an air conditioner are to expel hot air to the outside, as well as pull moisture from inside of your home to balance humidity levels. The system needs to go through complete cycles to do this job properly. If the air conditioner short cycles, it doesn’t have the time or the ability to pull moisture out, and you will find your home feeling muggy and your skin feeling sticky.
Benefits of a System That Is the Right Size
An air conditioner that is the proper size for your home will help you save money on energy bills because it isn’t running constantly or short cycling. You will also have fewer repairs because the system isn’t working overtime trying to keep your home comfortable.
When the system has to work hard and long to deliver air, it puts a strain on it. Parts begin to wear out sooner than they should, resulting in costly repairs, as well as reducing the life expectancy of the system.
If you would like us to install a new HVAC system in your home, give our knowledgeable team at Arctic Air Services, Inc. a call today. You can reach us at 941-203-7062 so we can schedule your appointment.
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