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Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort, Inc. Blog

What to Know About Sizing Your New Air Conditioner


Spring is progressing right along, and summer is just around the corner. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to make sure that your air conditioner is prepped and ready to handle the heat. Of course, you might be one of those homeowners who actually need an air conditioner replacement. If this is the case, you want to ensure that your new cooling system is properly matched to your home.

We understand that the first instinct when it comes to a purchase like this is to buy the biggest, most powerful system on the market within your budget. This can be a mistake! Fortunately, we’re here to guide you in the right direction when it comes to your air conditioner purchase and installation. It’s important to remember that bigger doesn’t always mean better. The size and power of your air conditioner does matter, just maybe not the way you think.

Keep reading as we uncover what goes on with undersized and underpowered air conditioners, as well as oversized and overpowered systems … and give us a call to help with your installation.

The Problem with an Undersized Air Conditioner

As you can probably guess, an underpowered or undersized air conditioning system simply won’t be able to keep up with your home’s cooling demands. It will force your air conditioner to run longer in order to try to reach the desired temperature setting on the thermostat. You can expect a rise in energy costs if this occurs.

Additionally, an undersized air conditioner simply won’t be able to keep your home as comfortable as you would like. During one of our hottest summer days, you can understand why this would be a problem. It’s better to ensure that you install a properly sized air conditioner from the beginning.

The Problem with an Oversized Air Conditioner

This is an issue most homeowners are less familiar with. While you may believe that an oversized air conditioner is better for keeping your home cool, it is actually inefficient. This is because optimal air conditioning efficiency happens through routine cycles and continued operation.

When an air conditioner is too powerful for the space it’s installed in, the desired temperature setting on the thermostat will be reached too quickly, before the unit has the opportunity to complete a full cooling cycle. This is a problem known as short-cycling.

Short-cycling isn’t a problem you want to deal with. Not only is it inefficient, but it also causes strain on your air conditioner and a faster accumulation of wear and tear. The only way to “repair” this problem of short-cycling due to an oversized system is to replace the system with an appropriately sized one.

How Do I Find the Right-Sized Air Conditioner?

This is a great question! The answer is, by calling our team. Our HVAC technicians will do what is called a cooling load calculation, which is when we assess a number of factors. The square footage of your home is important, but this is just the beginning. We’ll also look at how high your ceilings are, what type of insulation and building materials are used in your home, and even the number of doors and windows in your home.

For professional air conditioning installation in Sacramento, contact Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort, Inc. Look for “The Guys in the Big Red Trucks!”

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