When it comes to home projects, a lot of things are left to the “rule of thumb”. But many times, these simple “rules” can be inaccurate. This is no different when it comes to sizing your air conditioner. Many times, the rule of thumb for a new air conditioning installation is “bigger is better”. The truth is that many factors go into calculating what size of AC you’ll need in order to properly cool your home. This is why it’s important to work with a trained expert, like the ones at S&L Mechanical, who know and understand how to properly calculate cooling loads.
Why Size Matters
A wrongly-sized air conditioner is either going to be too big or too small. Each situation brings its own set of problems, but both will make your indoors uncomfortable.
When your AC is too small, it can’t cool your home adequately. This can result in constant cycling as the air conditioner tries to achieve the cooling you need. Constant cycling can wear down your components, cause motors to overheat and lead to possible breakdown.
An air conditioner that is too big presents a somewhat different problem. Part of the cooling process is the removal of humidity in the air, but when an over-sized air conditioner is installed, it cools the air so quickly that it doesn’t have the chance to dehumidify your home; this is known as short cycling, because the cycles are too short. Short cycling can wear down your system prematurely and leave you feeling cool and clammy instead of cool and dry.
The way to ensure you install an air conditioner that fits your home is to determine the cooling load you need. A cooling load is the amount of cooling you will need to comfortably cool your home. Multiple factors are considered when calculating, such as:
- Orientation of your home
- Insulation levels
- Daytime heat gain
- Windows – types and how many
- Floor plan
- Number of rooms
- Number of occupants
- Square footage
The calculation for cooling load can be complex, which is why it’s important to work with a trained professional.
Install with an Expert
No one wants to install a new air conditioning system only to find that it’s too big or too small. By working with a trained professional from the beginning, you can ensure your air conditioning installation goes smoothly. S&L Mechanical has helped many customers with their AC installation, and we can help you, too. Call us today and schedule an air conditioning installation in Seattle with one of our experts.