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W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Need a New AC? Pay Attention to Sizing


Summer isn’t going away any time soon, so if you haven’t done so already, now is the perfect time to ensure that your air conditioner is fully equipped to handle the rest of the heat this season is bringing. Of course, for some homeowners, this might mean investing in a brand new air conditioner altogether. If this is the case, you’ll want to make sure that the air conditioner you purchase is the right size, first and foremost.

We get it, when it’s this far into the season and you find yourself needing a new cooling system, it’s tempting to rush into your purchase. But we really want to encourage you to take your time and not just find the biggest system on the market that will fit your budget. Size and power matter here–not just making sure your air conditioner has enough power, but also ensuring it doesn’t have too much.

Read on to learn more about the problems with both an undersized/underpowered unit and an oversized/overpowered air conditioner.

Why You Don’t Want an Undersized Air Conditioner

As you can probably guess, you don’t want an undersized or underpowered air conditioner as it simply will not be able to keep up with the cooling demands of your household. This forces the air conditioner to run longer, and basically work harder than it should have to in order to do its job. As a result, you’ll see a spike in your energy costs.

Additionally, an undersized system won’t be able to keep your home as comfortable as you would like. During one of the hottest summer days, you can certainly see why this would be a problem. It’s better to make sure that you have a properly sized air conditioner installed right from the beginning.

Why You Don’t Want an Oversized System

Oversized air conditioners are something that homeowners are usually a little less familiar with. While you might think that this is better for keeping your household cool, it’s actually really inefficient to have an AC system that’s too big or powerful for your home. This is due to the fact that optimal air conditioning efficiency happens through continued operation and regular cycles.

When an AC system is too big for the home, desired temperatures will be reached too quickly, before the system has the opportunity to complete a full cooling cycle. This is a problem known as short-cycling.

Short-cycling isn’t something any homeowner wants to deal with. Not only is it really inefficient, but it also causes unnecessary strain on the cooling system, creating a faster accumulation of wear and tear. And unfortunately, the only way to “fix” this problem is to replace the system with one that is properly sized.

Finding the Right Sized Air Conditioner

So how do you find the right-sized air conditioner? Well, it starts with calling a professional for your installation. Before you even start looking at air conditioners, we’ll do what’s called a cooling load calculation. We look at factors like the square footage of your home, how many doors and windows there are, what type of insulation you have, and more, to help you determine not only the perfect air conditioner for your needs but the proper size, too.

For professional and reliable air conditioning replacement in Roanoke, VA, look no further than W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning. Contact us today!

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