Living in Florida, your air conditioner is probably among the top five things you enjoy and appreciate the most about your home. Most people are aware that they have to periodically change their air filters and schedule maintenance, but are you aware that size also matters? And when it comes to air conditioners, bigger isn’t always better.
In fact, having a unit that’s too big for your home could end up causing you costly problems. Air conditioners that are too big consume more energy, endure more wear and tear, and simply don’t work as well or as long as an appropriately sized unit. This can cause higher utility bills, more repairs, and discomfort in your home.
6 Signs of an Oversized AC Unit That’s Too Big For Your House
Here are some easy-to-identify signs that your AC may be too big for your home:
1. Short AC Cycles
An air conditioner’s cycle is how long it takes from the moment it’s turned on until it matches your desired temperature on your thermostat. At that point, it shuts off.
When you have a Megatron of a unit, your home will cool down really fast, causing the AC to shut off quickly. You would think this is a good thing, but it isn’t, as it creates a lot of stress on your unit.
To test if your AC is short-cycling, start with observing how long your system takes to cool to your set temperature on a hot day. You can do this by setting the temperature lower on the thermostat, then listening for how long the system runs until it reaches that temperature and shuts off. As a baseline, 15 to 20 minutes is good; if your AC only runs for a few minutes before it reaches the set temperature and shuts off, it could indicate that your unit is too big.
2. Your Home is Humid
Air conditioners work by absorbing hot air from your home. When this happens, condensation from the humidity drips from the AC coils into a drip pan. Once this pan is full of water, it is drained outside through condensate drain lines.
If your AC is too big, it will cool down your home too quickly, and the cycle will shut off before the drip pan is full. A less than full drip pan will not drain, which will cause that water to evaporate and recirculate inside your house, making it feel humid.
3. High Energy Bills
All of those short cycles we mentioned in the first point on this list will drive up your energy costs. If you’ve been getting higher power bills than usual and you don’t know why — and your home is not even comfortable to be in — your AC unit may be too big.
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4. Different Temperatures in Different Rooms Around the House
Since the oversized unit is constantly short-cycling, the rooms that are furthest away from the thermostat will cool down slower than the interior rooms. This causes hot and cold spots throughout your home, which is uncomfortable. The temperature of your home should be consistently comfortable.
5. Poor Air Quality
Your AC system has vents that emit air and return vents that absorb air. Since an oversized air conditioner shuts off soon after being turned on, the air inside your home won’t circulate properly. This, in turn, can lead to the formation of mold. If you can see a lot of condensation on your windows, mold growth, or there’s a slight smell of mildew in the air, it might mean that your home has an AC that’s too big.
6. AC is Too Loud
Yes, we are supposed to hear when the AC is on, but it’s designed to be white noise. If you often find yourself having to turn up your TV or having to speak louder so that your family members can hear you because your AC is too loud, it may be due to the fact that your oversized air conditioner is forcing more air than your home’s ducts can handle.
How to Correct An Oversized Air Conditioner
Your AC is a big investment, and it can be upsetting to figure out that yours is not the right size, only costing you more. If your AC is in fact too big for your home, there are a couple of possible solutions:
Get a Standalone Humidifier: If your too-large AC is causing your home to feel humid, and you’re not able to invest in a new one, a standalone humidifier may help. When used along with your AC, a humidifier can help to get rid of the excess air moisture.
Add Ductwork: You’ll want to get an opinion from an AC professional for this one — in some situations, adding extra air ducts to part of your home that isn’t currently cooled can help to distribute the extra air from a system that’s oversized. An example of this would be your garage.
Replace Your AC: Although this is a big investment, the best option may be to simply replace the system. Unfortunately, this is an expensive solution but will be beneficial in the long run, both for your comfort and your utility bill. Replacing your oversized AC with an appropriately-sized unit will also cut down on the need for repairs in the future due to issues from the wrong sized unit.
Need to Replace an Oversized AC Unit? Contact Complete Air Mechanical
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. If you think you have an AC unit that’s the wrong size for your home, we want to help! We provide service in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties, and we offer financing options.