Bigger Isn’t Better When it Comes to Air Conditioners

Why getting a bigger unit isn’t the answer to your AC problems

Carrier Air ConditionerIf you’re not satisfied with your current central AC system’s performance, you may assume you need a bigger unit. This is one of the most common errors that consumers make when trying to secure better performance from their AC systems. The truth is, bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to air conditioners. You need a unit that is appropriately sized for your home. Getting an oversized unit will not deliver improved cooling and can actually cause many problems, including:

Uneven Temperatures

An oversized air conditioner will cycle on and off too frequently, leading to air distribution issues. Basically, the rooms farthest from the unit will not receive enough cooled air before the system shuts off, while the rooms closest to the unit will get blasted with arctic air. You are better off with a smaller unit that will run almost constantly because this creates better air mixing in the home.

Excess Humidity

In addition to producing cool air, air conditioners also work as dehumidifiers provided they are left running long enough. When your system is too large for your home, the cooling will get done too quickly and the system will shut off before it can remove enough humidity from the air.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Oversized air conditioners cause indoor air quality issues in two ways. First of all, they create excess humidity. If indoor humidity rises about 50 percent, you’ll have ideal conditions for mold and dust mites. Secondly, oversized air conditioners operate at higher duct pressures. Any leaks in your duct work will likely worsen under this pressure, creating more opportunities for dusty air from your attic to enter the duct work and get distributed throughout your home.

More Breakdowns

The more your oversized air conditioner cycles on and off, the more wear and tear the components will experience. Your blower motor, fan, and other parts are more likely to wear out early and you’ll end up having to deal with the expense and inconvenience of air conditioner repair more often than you would with an appropriately sized system.

Higher Utility Bills

A bigger unit simply gobbles more power than a smaller one. To make matters worse, your oversized air conditioner will likely never reach its promised level of energy efficiency. Just as it is cycling up to its most efficient level, the thermostat will tell it to shut off again. In terms of energy consumption, you would actually be better off running a smaller unit full time.

Get a Home Performance Evaluation

If you’re not happy with your current AC system, don’t just go buy a new one. Contact General Heating & Air Conditioning for a home performance evaluation. We’ll send an expert technician to analyze your home’s HVAC system and recommend the appropriate equipment to improve your home comfort and air quality.