When looking to replace an air conditioning unit, you’re not only seeking a modern, more efficient air conditioner or heat pump, but you might be inclined to purchase something significantly bigger than what you had before.
Not so fast.
Just because you purchase a bigger air conditioning unit doesn’t mean that it’s going to work better for your home. In fact, it could lead to an increase in utility expenses, for a variety of reasons. Below are some of the pitfalls of buying a cooling unit that that is significantly larger than you previous one.
Larger AC Could Lead to Increased Utility-Related Costs
Any mechanical device that starts and stops experiences a significant amount of wear and tear. A cooling unit that is too big for your house will cycle on and off more often, thus leading to more frequent breakdowns, higher repair costs and a shorter life. The key is to select an AC that is properly sized for your home’s cooling or heating demand.
Also worth noting is a larger cooling unit is going to cost more to purchase, and they cost more to run over the span of their lives. Their efficiency goes out the window because of the excessive on and off cycling when paired with a home that’s too small. A unit that is the proper size for your home will run for longer periods, but they will actually consume less total energy.
Oversized Air Conditioning Units Cause Uneven Temperatures in the Home
You could end up with rooms that are noticeably hotter than others if you splurged on an AC that’s too large for your property. An oversized cooling unit could lead to poor air distribution and uneven temperatures in your house. This is because the AC unit is cycling off after a short amount of time, thinking its job was complete in just a few minutes. It’s usually the rooms farthest from the unit that suffer hot or cold problems because of this. A properly sized unit will reduce such symptoms, as it will mix the air better than a system that’s too large for your home’s needs.
Leaking Ducts and Increased Noise
If you buy a noticeably larger AC unit than your previous one, you’re going to see an increase in your home’s air flow, but that may not actually be a good thing. Your existing ductwork was set up for your previous unit, and the system may not be equipped to handle stronger force of air flow. You may hear short, intense, noisy blasts of excessively cold or hot air from the oversized unit, and your ducts may eventually leak more, which would waste energy and make your home dirtier.
Oversized AC Causes Humidity to Rise in the Home
An air conditioner not only cools the air inside a building, but it dries it as well. An oversized AC will cool your home too quickly, believe it or not. The unit would shut off before finishing the job of removing moisture in the air, and the result is an indoor environment that is too high in humidity. With an uncomfortable indoor air quality due to the humidity, you may head to the thermostat and turn it down a couple more degrees, raising your energy expenses.
Higher Humidity Brings Increased Threat of Mold and Dust Mites
To ward off mold growth and dust mites in a home, your indoor humidity level needs to be kept below 50 percent. If your AC is too large for your house and you live in a humid climate, it’s not likely to stay below that level. That’s not a good prognosis for an allergy sufferers in your home, as they are likely sensitive to mold spores and dust mite droppings.
Have a Professional Assess Your Home’s System and Your AC Needs
If you were unhappy with your old air conditioning unit, it may have more to do with your ductwork or insulation than the AC being too small for the job. At McLay Services, we see many homes that have some form of air flow deficiency, including a poor air conditioning and heating system design. We offer our Rancho Cucamonga area, and Southern California customers the opportunity to get a whole home inspection, to see if their heating and cooling system is running at peak efficiency.
And if you’re looking into a new cooling unit, we can assess your home or business property and recommend the correctly sized AC or heat pump for your needs. We can then show you the high-quality Carrier products we carry that will work with your property. As you have read in this post, having the properly sized AC unit is crucial to saving money on your power bills and upkeeping the integrity of the entire cooling system.