When we talk to clients about a new HVAC system, usually the first thing they bring up is size. And more often than not, homeowners think the larger HVAC system is better, or the smaller HVAC system will save them money. We’re here to tell you that these are both myths. A larger system is not always better, and the reasons are below. A smaller system can end up costing you more money in bills and repairs over time. Believe it or not, there is a very precise science to choosing the sized HVAC system for your home; and at Bell Brothers, we understand every unique home has different and specific needs. There is no “one size fits all” solution. Therefore, we’re sharing why HVAC size does matter.
The Issues with Going Too Small
Is your AC constantly running, but never fully cools your home? Are you seeing a sudden spike in utility bills? These are two surefire signs your AC might be too small for your home. Older AC models are made to run continuously, but that’s not the case with new systems. Typically, AC systems run in cycles of about 30 minutes. Once your home has reached the temperature programmed on the thermostat, the AC will turn off, cool down, and essentially rest before starting the next cycle. If your air conditioner is too small for your home, it never gets a rest. The system is constantly running without ever stopping; and without properly cooling your home.
With your AC running all day, and potentially all night, that will lead to hefty utility bills. If you continuously see a significant spike in your utility bills during a long, hot Sacramento summer, it could be a sign your AC system is too small. Another sign to watch out for is uneven room temperatures. Are the rooms closer to the AC unit cool and the others not? This could also be attributed to an air conditioner that is too small.
Bigger Isn’t Better; Especially When it Comes to HVAC
It’s easy to see why homeowners want the biggest AC system; especially with Central California summers. Unfortunately, an AC unit that’s too large can cause some big problems. First, and one of the biggest problems is that your AC never has a chance to fully cycle. As we mentioned above, your AC system will automatically turn off the ambient temperature in your home reaches the temperature programmed into the thermostat. In HVAC terms, we call this a “short cycle.” When an air conditioner short cycles, it turns on and off in rapid succession; this puts unnecessary strain on the system’s condenser causing to prematurely break or stop working all together. Condenser repairs can be so expensive we sometimes recommend investing in an entirely new unit. If you have an AC system that is too large, it could easily lead to substantial repair bills and larger than normal energy bills.
The next problem is directly related to short cycling. One of the main functions of your HVAC system is to dehumidify your home. When an air conditioner runs through its normal cycle, it removes moisture from your home. When the AC short cycles, it’s not running for long enough to remove that moisture. Over time, moisture builds up and mold or mildew can grow on wood, paint, and drywall.
Determining the Best Size
No two homes are the same; that principle is also applied to HVAC units. When a trained HVAC technician comes to your home for an evaluation, there is some exact math required. First, how big is your home? Our tech will determine your home’s square footage. Next is BTU—or British Thermal Unit. BTUs are how our techs measure the necessary energy needed to treat the air in your home. Usually, it takes 25 BTUs to cool a square foot. The final thing our techs take into account are architectural touches like high ceilings. These can affect how many BTUs are needed to cool a room. With these factors in mind, your HVAC tech is able to find the right sized system for your home.
Want to know What Size HVAC is Best for Your Home?
Call Bell Brothers! Our expertly trained technicians are ready to evaluate your home, do the math, and find the perfectly sized HVAC system for your home. We proudly serve our Sacramento, Stockton, and Vacaville communities. Click here to schedule an appointment or call the number at the top of the screen to speak with one of our friendly representatives. Don’t forget, we don’t just do HVAC. We have skilled plumbers and window installers ready whenever you need them.