The official start of summer is right around the corner, and we all know what that means. It’s time to make sure that your air conditioner is in the best shape possible to handle higher temperatures. Despite our crazy blizzard like temperatures we had just a few short months ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that this summer will be hotter than most in the U.S.!
If this concerns you to the point that you’re wondering if your aging air conditioner has what it takes to keep you cool this season, then it may be time to consider an upgrade.
And no, we don’t want you to rush out and find the biggest, most powerful air conditioner on the market, because that could actually leave you with an inefficient system and a lack of comfort rather than the other way around. We encourage our customers to carefully consider their air conditioning system purchase. Bigger is not always better, and this applies to air conditioners as well. Yes size and power matter, but not necessarily in the way you might think.
Read on as we go into why an undersized unit won’t do you much good, and why an oversized air conditioner will leave you disappointed too.
The Problem with an Undersized Air Conditioner
When we talk about an “undersized” air conditioner, we’re not talking about cubic inches. We’re talking about how much power it has. Yours might be underpowered for your home if you’re not careful. And you can probably guess why this would be a problem. It is going to struggle to keep up with your home’s cooling demands and force your system to run longer and essentially work harder than it should have to in order to cool your home. As a result, you’ll see a rise in your energy bills and your air conditioner will wear down faster.
In addition, an underpowered AC system simply won’t be able to keep your living space as comfortable as it should. During one of the hottest days of the year here in Texas, you can of course see why this is a problem! The best thing you can do to ensure your household’s comfort is work with a professional on getting a properly sized/powered air conditioner to begin with.
The Problem with an Oversized Air Conditioner
This is an issue that homeowners are often a little less familiar with. We understand why you might think that an oversized system is better for keeping your living space cooled, but it’s actually pretty inefficient. This is because optimal AC system efficiency happens through continued operation and regular cycles.
When an air conditioner is “too big,” or rather, overpowered, for the space it is intended to cool, then the desired temperature on your thermostat will be met too fast, before the system has the chance to complete a regular cooling cycle. This is a problem known as short-cycling, and it’s very inefficient for your air conditioning system.
It creates stress on the cooling system, and allows wear and tear to accumulate faster on the unit. The only way to really “fix” this problem (short-cycling due to an overpowered system) is to actually replace the system with an appropriately sized and powered one, which is of course a huge inconvenience if you’ve just installed the system!