Having an oversized air conditioner comes with a long list of problems: High energy bills, a humid home, and poor air quality, to name a few. But having a unit that takes up too much space and energy is not the only faux pas when it comes to installing an AC. If you have a small AC unit, you’ll be as uncomfortable as having an oversized AC.
If you’ve been experiencing any of the issues listed below, it’s time to call an HVAC professional.
How to Know if Your AC is Too Small:
1. Your home is never cool enough. There are few things that are more exasperating than coming home on a sweltering hot summer day, only to find out that it’s just as stifling inside.
Ordinarily, an air conditioner works by absorbing the warm air from your home, taking away its moisture, and condensing it. After this process is completed, the AC will emit cool air from your air vents. But not all air conditioners are created equal. In order to have a system that will efficiently do this, you’ll need an AC with a specific amount of BTUs.
What are BTUs, you ask? Happy to help: It’s an acronym that stands for British Thermal Unit, and they refer to the amount of heat the unit can eliminate from the air. For each ton of heat that has to be removed from a home, an AC unit needs to have 12,000 BTUs. The bigger your home, the more heat it has. The more heat it has, you need an AC with a higher BTU.
In order to know how many BTUs you need, take into account the following factors:
- Square footage of your home
- Ceiling height
- Construction materials
- Insulation in your home
- How much sunlight comes in through doors and windows
- How many people live in your home
If your AC has already been installed, you can check the BTU capacity on the label. This label is located on the condenser unit (the big box that sits outside your home). Right at the very top, it’ll say the model number (M/N), which includes a long string of characters separated by hyphens. The BTU capacity is the three digit number after the first dash.
If you don’t have an air conditioner with the right BTU, your home will never be cool enough.
2. Inconsistent temperatures in your home. Some rooms are comfortable. Others are as hot as a kitchen with two ovens on Thanksgiving Day. Unless the room that’s hot is actually your kitchen with two ovens on Thanksgiving Day, this is not normal. An air conditioner system that’s the appropriate size will cool all of your rooms evenly.
3. Your air conditioner never shuts off. Air conditioners go through cycles: They absorb the hot air from your home, take out the moisture, and through several processes and with the help of coolant (refrigerant), you end up with pleasantly cool air coming out of your vents. Once your home reaches the temperature you set on the thermostat, your AC will automatically shut off and only restart when the temperature starts rising again.
A regular cycle should last between 20 and 30 minutes. If this is not the case in your home, you may need to upgrade to a unit that’s big enough for your home’s square footage.
4. Your energy bills are too high. It follows that if you have an air conditioner that never shuts off, you’re going to have higher than average energy bills. If you don’t have a basis for comparison because you’ve always had a small AC, ask friends and neighbors who have homes of a comparable size to yours. Usually, the highest fluctuations happen during the summer, so pay close attention to your utilities bills during this time of the year.
5. It’s humid inside your home. As previously mentioned, air conditioners absorb heat and humidity from your home. If your unit is too small for the square footage, it won’t absorb all of it.
Contact A+ Air Conditioning in Gainesville for an AC Replacement
At Complete Air Mechanical, we have experienced HVAC professionals who can inspect your AC and install a unit that’s right for your home or business. We provide service in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties, and we offer financing options.
Call us at (407) 915-0144 and let us make your home comfortable.