Before you install that new A/C, verify with the installation team that the company’s representative has sized it properly for your home. Going by your existing air conditioner can be misleading, and chances are the system you’re using is already too large. This is because most homes are more energy efficient than they used to be, as a result of weatherization improvements, including better air sealing and insulation.
Installing a system that’s too big is not better. In fact, it’s better to choose a slightly smaller system than one that’s too large. Besides costing less initially, smaller systems use less electricity and do a better job removing the humidity. The HVAC industry uses a system called Manual J to arrive at the right size for your home. It involves these calculations:
- Cubic footage you want to cool
- Insulation levels and air infiltration rates
- Windows, their efficiency and orientation to the sun
- Heat-producing appliances and type of lighting in the home
- Layout of the home
- Preferred temperature settings
- Number of occupants
- Lifestyle factors
Once you know the proper size for the new A/C, the installation also makes a difference in the lifetime performance of your system. The HVAC contractor needs to look over the existing ductwork in your home and make sure it will work with your new A/C. Putting the outdoor condenser/compressor in a location where it receives the least amount of sun and won’t be too close to your home’s exterior and landscaping is another important aspect of having an air conditioner installed.
A skilled installation team will insert the precise amount of refrigerant the manufacturer specifies and adjust the air handler so it delivers the proper amount of air to each part of your home. Once the installation is complete, the team will review the maintenance your system will need to keep running at top efficiency. They’ll explain the warranty and the required professional maintenance the manufacturer requires to keep the warranty valid.
If you’re considering a new A/C this summer, contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve provided HVAC services in the San Joaquin Valley for nearly 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about choosing a new A/C and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.