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How to Know if Your Air Conditioner is the Right Size for Your Home

How to Know if Your Air Conditioner is the Right Size for Your HomeGiven that the typical home in this region requires a significant level of cooling for nearly half the year, it’s important to right-size an air conditioning unit so the system works at peak efficiency and provides the maximum level of output . An improperly sized central air conditioner will increase energy bills, lower comfort and shorten the life of your equipment.

A good HVAC contractor will conduct a load calculation when sizing new HVAC equipment. This calculation takes into account the size of your home, its energy efficiency, floorplan design and your household’s characteristics.

Homes that lack adequate insulation and, therefore, have many air leaks or windows that do little to resist heat gain need more cooling capacity from their systems. Family habits and activities that add to the load include keeping your home at low temperatures or using heat-producing appliances and lighting frequently, all of which add to the cooling load.

When replacing your system, ensure that it’ll be the right size by working with a contractor who does use Manual J software. It’ll help you avoid the short cycle in oversized systems. When the system is too large, it cools your home too quickly, leaving humidity behind.

When an air conditioner first starts, it uses much more electricity than when it’s in the middle of the cycle. Those frequent starts increase electricity usage and put a strain on all components in the system. If it’s too small, the cooling system may not be able to keep you comfortable during periods of excessive heat, making the system run excessively long.

Going by the size of your current system could be a mistake, especially if you or a previous homeowner have improved the energy efficiency of your home. A smaller cooling system costs less to purchase and install, and its electrical consumption will be lower.

For more information about an air conditioner and sizing it right, contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning, proudly serving the Fresno area for near 40 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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