Why Does Air Conditioner Sizing Matter?

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The hot months push your cooling system’s limits. At this point, it usually becomes evident that old air conditioners cannot handle the heat anymore. If it begins breaking down often, then an air conditioner replacement is necessary. However, finding the correct type of air conditioner that will work best for your home may be confusing. Many will be tempted to buy the same model, meaning that they will miss out on higher efficiencies and performance levels that modern-day air conditioners offer. It is recommended that you reconsider your cooling needs before making a quick decision. For instance, when buying a new air conditioner, be sure to factor in air conditioner sizing.

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What Is A Manual J Load Calculation & Why Is It Important?

HVAC units are not a one size fits all. It is vital to find the right-sized unit to meet your home comfort needs. The size is determined with a load calculation, also known as a Manual J load calculation.

A Manual J load calculation encompasses several factors to find a home’s cooling load. Only a licensed technician should perform this calculation. They utilize advanced software to help with precision and speed. Licensed techs must quantify the house’s characteristics, like ceiling height, floor area, structure materials, orientation, insulation, household appliances’ heat generation, window sizes, number of occupants, air leaks, and local climate. The result of this calculation is the home’s cooling load. This numerical value means you don’t have to do guesswork. With a proper load calculation, you will know the exact air conditioner size you need.

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Air conditioners should make people feel comfortable. However, cooling is only a part of indoor comfort. The cooling unit should also lower the humidity inside your home via condensation. Vapor around the coils turns into water droplets that flow down the channels. However, an oversized air conditioner will cool down your house so fast that the cycle ends before sufficient condensation happens. Constant high humidity means the occupants will feel uncomfortable and sticky. People tend to lower the temperature to find relief, which only spikes your home’s energy usage. The shorter cycles of oversized air conditioners also contribute to lower indoor air quality. The system pushes less air through the filters so that the cleaning process will suffer.

Having an air conditioner that’s too small is also a problem. They may not be able to handle the home’s cooling needs. It will take a long period before an undersized air conditioner reaches the preferred temperature. A unit that’s too small may be unable to counter the sun’s warmth radiating from the roof on a scorching summer day. They will run harder than usual but still fall short of the target. ACs that are too small also operate continuously, leading to faster wear. This leads to frequent breakdowns and premature replacements.

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Choosing a high-SEER-rating air conditioner is one of the best methods to ensure effective electrical energy conversion into cooling power. However, homeowners shouldn’t stop at this; other factors should also be considered. This includes sizing. A unit that doesn’t match cannot reach its potential SEER rating. It will be forced to operate at a suboptimal level, with highly extended or shortened cycles. This also wastes a tremendous amount of energy. The unit also cannot run as efficiently as possible because of increased wear and tear. Therefore, purchasing a new air conditioner with a high SEER rating is pointless if it isn’t sized accurately.

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Mismatched units will cost you more at the onset, making you spend more than you should on your air conditioner. The price increases with higher horsepower, so consider your cooling needs before selecting a unit. A unit that frequently cycles waste energy, and the worn-out components lower the system efficiency, causing high energy bills each month. The components are also under extreme stress, possibly requiring repairs and premature replacement. Having the right size from the start helps prevent unnecessary expenses. It is worth the money to hire a licensed professional to conduct a Manual J load calculation is worth the money. 

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The Problem With Oversized Air Conditioning Units

To reiterate, air conditioning units that are too large are problematic as they cool your home too fast, causing short cycles. This means they cannot effectively lower the indoor humidity with the coils and enhance the air quality with the filters. The cooling unit also operates sub-optimally, which increases energy use. Generally, your home will be cool but feel humid. Having oversized ACs also results in homeowners overspending to acquire the unit.

The Problem With Undersized AC Units

Air conditioners that are too small are equally bad because they cannot provide sufficient cooling power to meet the space’s needs. They cannot provide relief in the summer, so they have quite a questionable presence in your home. They will work continuously as they attempt and fail to achieve the set temperature. Components will also overwork at all times, which results in unit failure and expensive early replacement.

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Choosing an air conditioner isn’t a race to the extreme. The smallest or biggest unit doesn’t guarantee the best possible performance. Although you can easily assume one or the other, each space has various needs. The correct unit is the one that meets the unique needs of your home. Sizing is essential when selecting an air conditioner because it determines efficiency, comfort, and cost. Never rely on simple rules of thumb. You should find a licensed HVAC contractor who utilizes scientific tools to calculate the correct AC size you need for your home.

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Call Van Varick & Sons For Your Air Conditioning Requirements

Van Varick & Sons provides high-quality heating and cooling services in Northern New Jersey. Our team comprises the best professionally certified technicians specializing in superior HVAC tune-ups, replacements, repairs, and installations. All our techs have the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

Our company guarantees highly affordable cooling and heating service prices in the region. Our maintenance services can increase home energy efficiency, comfort, air quality, and more. We can also help lower your home cooling costs. If your HVAC system needs repairing or replacing, we can give you the best recommendations within your budget. Your satisfaction is important to us, so all our work comes with a guarantee. Schedule a service appointment, and call Van Varick & Sons today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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