The Oversized Air Conditioner: When Bigger Doesn’t Mean Better

The Oversized Air Conditioner: When Bigger Doesn't Mean BetterWhen it comes to cooling your home, it’s easy to think that an oversized air conditioner will do a better job, when in fact, the reverse is true. When these systems are too large, they increase energy bills, reduce indoor comfort and likely require more repairs and maintenance.

An oversized cooling system won’t work as well because it cools your home too fast. While that may seem like a benefit on a hot day, over the course of summer, you’ll find that it takes longer to rid your home of uncomfortable and potentially dangerous humidity and mold growth.

The system turns off too fast for the evaporator coil inside the air handler to get cold enough to condense the water vapor in the air. The condensation that does occur may not be enough to collect in the drain pan, and will evaporate back into your home’s air, worsening the problem.

Those short running cycles also increase energy consumption because the air conditioner draws the most energy when it first starts to run. When it’s turning on and off more frequently during the day, that energy draw adds up on your electric bill. The higher load also contributes to greater wear on the entire system. The system never has a chance to maintain a proper run cycle.

A home with with an oversized air conditioner also can have uncomfortable spaces. Rooms that are farther from the air handler may not receive enough cooled air to be comfortable when the running cycle is so short.

If your home has excessively warm rooms, your cooling system may be to blame. The system could have inadvertently been oversized, or if you’ve made energy-efficiency improvements, such as adding insulation or upgrading windows, your cooling load could be significantly less than when your original A/C was installed.

The best way to avoid an oversized air conditioner in the future is to work with an HVAC contractor who will do a load calculation to find the optimal size A/C for your home. If you’d like more information, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for the greater Kansas City area since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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