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Oversized Air Conditioners: Why Bigger is Not Always Better

7343762168_233e4ed2ec_mAir conditioners come in many different capacities in order to meet the needs of different sized homes. But there’s a common misunderstanding that you can choose from a variety of different sizes depending on your preferences and budget, and that a bigger air conditioner will be better for your home. The truth is that every home should be matched with an air conditioner of a specific size, and installing an air conditioner that’s too large can lead to many negative consequences. Today we’re going to talk about why some homes have systems that are too powerful and the problems associated with oversized air conditioners!

 

Why are oversized air conditioners common?

 

Even though there are many problems with oversized air conditioners (as you’ll see below), they can still be found in many homes in the St. Louis area. The problem can almost always be traced back to a low-quality contractor doing the installation. If you choose to work with a low-cost, low quality-contractor, they might not have the training and experience required to properly size an air conditioner, or they might simply be trying to sell the most expensive system that they have.

 

A high-quality contractor like Jerry Kelly will perform a load calculation on your home in order to determine exactly what capacity of air conditioner would work best. We know that size is very important when installing new systems, and we take great care in making sure your air conditioner is not too big or too small for your home.

 

The problems with oversized air conditioners

 

    • They make your home uncomfortable. You might think that a larger air conditioner will cool your home faster, therefore it will make your home more comfortable. The truth is that an oversized air conditioner will deliver more cool air at one time than is necessary, which leads to big temperature swings and homes that get too cold in certain spots. In addition, an oversized air conditioner’s cooling cycles are very short, which means that even if the area around your thermostat is the right temperature, other parts of your home might not be properly cooled by the time your system shuts off.

 

    • They do not adequately dehumidify your home. Air conditioners don’t just cool your home down, they also reduce humidity levels. But an air conditioner can only remove moisture from the air while it is operating. Because oversized air conditioners have such short cooling cycles, they don’t operate for long enough periods to adequately dehumidify your home.

 

    • They go through a lot of wear and tear. Air conditioners do the most amount of work while they are starting up and shutting down. An oversized air conditioner goes through many more cooling cycles throughout the day than a properly sized air conditioner does, which means an oversized system will undergo a whole lot of stress that can eventually lead to breakdowns.

 

    • They are loud. Larger air conditioners tend to make more noise while they are operating than smaller air conditioners. If your air conditioner is oversized, the excess noise can be very noticeable.

 

    • They lead to unnecessary expenses. Air conditioners use up the most energy while they are starting up and shutting down, and the least amount of energy while they are in the middle of a cooling cycle. Because an oversized air conditioner’s cooling cycles are so short, they spend most of their time in the parts of the cooling cycles that use up the most energy, which leads to high cooling costs. In addition, larger air conditioners cost more, so you end up spending extra money up-front on a system that will actually end up costing more to operate and lead to the other issues listed above.

 

If you have any questions about an oversized air conditioner, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis air conditioning contractor. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like Maryland Heights, O’Fallon and St. Charles, MO.

 

photo credit: bradhoc via photopin (license)