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New Air Conditioners Must Be Sized Properly

air-conditioning-sizingHomeowners with older air conditioners on their last legs would be well-advised to install a new one before the summer heat arrives. With the official start of summer just a few days away, many homeowners are choosing to replace their outdated systems now, in order to better enjoy the benefits when the high temperatures really hit.

Once the decision is made to replace an older air conditioner, the question becomes what type of new system should be installed. That entails a number of questions to be answered, but the first one on any homeowner’s list should be the power output level of the new system.

Why Is It Important?

The power output of an air conditioner needs to be sized to fit the needs of the home: neither overpower nor underpowered, but balanced as precisely as possible. Most people understand why an underpowered air conditioner isn’t desirable. It will run constantly, without every getting the home comfortable and waste a great deal of energy in the process. But few people understand why overpowered systems are just as problematic. It flies in the face of basic logic: shouldn’t an air conditioner cool the home as quickly as possible? It may seem hard to believe, but the answer to that question is “no.”

Air conditioners use much more power starting up and shutting down than they do simply running. Therefore, an optimally sized air conditioner will run for at least fifteen minutes at a time, in order to allow for maximum energy efficiency. Otherwise, the system engages in a process known as short-cycling: cooling the house very fast and shutting down, only to turn on again a few minutes later as the heat of the day warms the home again. Short-cycling is very hard on the air conditioner, leading to higher operating costs and increased wear and tear on individual components. Worst of all, once the system is installed, there are few options for dealing with it besides replacing it with a better-sized unit.

Technicians Can Find the Right Size

That’s why sizing is so important. It ensures that a new air conditioner can handle the job properly without creating problems with short cycling. The older air conditioner can provide a good baseline in some cases, but a formal audit of the home is usually required. The technician will measure the square footage and account for other details that may affect the home’s energy efficiency, such as the amount of insulation in the walls or the presence of large picture windows that allow in a lot of sunlight. Once those calculations are made, the technician can determine the ideal power levels for the new air conditioner. When that figure is calculated, the homeowner can concentrate on other key factors such as efficiency or the presence of a new thermostat as part of the system.

For homes in Rye, NY looking to install a new air conditioning system, count on the friendly technicians at Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators to provide proper sizing and an effective and swift installation process!

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