“Bigger is better”: It’s one of those maxims that just won’t die. But while it might be harder to find the disadvantages of a bigger paycheck, or a bigger slice of pizza, bigger is NOT always better when it comes to your heating or cooling system!
In this post, we’ll take a look at the telltale signs that the central air conditioning in your metro Phoenix area house may not be properly sized for your home.
1. Short Cycles
Does your air conditioner turn on, only to turn off again shortly after? You might think this is a good thing: since a bigger air conditioner can bring the temperature in your Arizona home down to the set temperature more quickly, you’ll save money by using less energy, right?
But, in fact, what this really means is that your AC will end up cycling on and off more times over the course of a day. This process puts wear and tear on your system, which can shorten its lifespan and require more frequent repairs.
The best way to think about this is to relate it to driving in the City versus driving on the highway. In the City, your miles per gallon decrease because you’re constantly stopping and starting. This also puts wear and tear on your breaks and on your car as a whole. Where on the highway, you’re cruising at one constant speed and thus obtaining a much higher miles per gallon.
When an AC system is given an efficiency rating (i.e. SEER), they’re tested after they’ve been running for 10-15 minutes. Your AC system is really inefficient for the first five minutes of cycle time, so if your system only runs on short cycles, you’ll never get the full efficiency rating that’s stamped on the side of your system and that your AC contractor promised you.
If your AC contractor didn’t follow through with proper HVAC design, they could be cutting years off the total lifespan of your equipment.
2. High Energy Costs
If your AC unit is too large for your home, then right off the bat, you’ll have paid extra money for something you didn’t need because a bigger compressor costs more upfront to buy and it requires more energy to operate. Short cycling will lead to higher energy bills, not to mention that the extra wear and tear will lead to paying for additional service calls to keep your air conditioning working efficiently.
3. Inconsistent Temperatures
If your HVAC system is too big and is short cycling, it’s common to experience uneven cool air distribution. The areas near your vents will be colder than you’d like because the AC is pumping cool, conditioned air through your ductwork, but the areas furthest away from vents will often not cool down enough to be comfortable before the AC cycle stops.
4. High Humidity Levels
Did you know that air conditioners, in addition to creating cool air for your home, serve a second (and some might say equally important) purpose? AC units are also a dehumidifier for your home, and it’s been shown that the humidity levels in your air can contribute just as much to your sense of comfort as the actual temperature.
Oversized ACs don’t run as long when they’re on, so they have less of a chance to dehumidify the air in your living space. This extra humidity can make it feel hotter indoors than the temperature actually reads, and humidity can lead to serious indoor air quality (IAQ) issues like mold as well.
Find Out Once and For All If You Have an Oversized System
Proper HVAC sizing isn’t limited to your air conditioner either! If your furnace is oversized, you could be experiencing similar problems. If you’ve read this article and think you may have an issue with your home heating or cooling systems, but still aren’t sure, the best bet is to call Ideal Energy.
During every heating or cooling installation, our team of home performance professionals run what is called Manual J load calculation. Many HVAC contractors would rather use guesswork and estimates (which can also lead to you being upsold on a more expensive, unnecessarily larger system), but at Ideal Energy, we make sure to double check our work and arrive at the correct air conditioner sizing for your specific home. There’s no boiler plate with us – everything is customized for your home’s needs! What’s even better is we 100% guarantee it.
Not only can you feel confident with Ideal Energy that you have the right HVAC systems installed in your Scottsdale home, we can also handle your duct design and inspection as well, so that you can be sure that every part of your HVAC system is optimized for comfort and efficiency.