If your AC unit is too small, it won’t cool your entire home properly or comfortably. But, if your AC unit is too big, you could waste a lot of energy running it unnecessarily, potentially burning it out more quickly. The smallest available central air conditioning unit is 1.5 tons or 18,000 BTUs. The largest available central air conditioning unit is 5 tons or 60,000 BTUs. That’s a big difference and a lot of room for error there.
The best way to determine if your current air conditioning unit is big enough is to have a professional measure and assess your space and energy usage. Call Ambient Edge at (702) 723-4704 and our skilled technicians can do a size estimate for you then discuss your information and potential options.
Why It Is Hard to Measure Your Space for Air Conditioning
We frequently get calls from homeowners who have attempted to figure out the properly sized air conditioning unit but have become confused by all the calculations.
- To start, you’ll need to know the square footage of your home, but certain areas (such as attics and basements) are typically not included in this calculation
- Then, you’ll need to determine the correct BTU per hour rating. BTUs are British Thermal Units, a measure of energy used for air conditioners
- The BTU rating usually needs to be adjusted based on how you use your home. The number of people, position of windows in relation to the sun during different times of the day, different areas of the home that need cooling, and more are all considerations when determining BTUs
- You may also need to make adjustments if there are split rooms or zones in your home that are odd-sized or do not align with proper airflow
From there, you can determine if your air conditioner is the right size. If this sounds confusing, you’re right.
That’s why it’s easiest to work with a skilled Ambient Edge professional. We have years of experience that can quickly help you determine if your air conditioner is big enough. Or, if you need to replace your current AC unit, we can help you figure out the best unit for your lifestyle, needs, home, and budget.
When Your Air Conditioner Is Too Small
Without having to do any official calculations, there are signs that your air conditioning unit is not big enough.
Your Energy Bills Are High
Most homeowners have higher energy bills in summer when air conditioning runs more frequently. However, if your air conditioner is too small to cool your house properly, it is working more than overtime to try and keep up. You will probably see big spikes in your energy bills in summer.
Endless Air Conditioning
If your air conditioner is not big enough to cool your home, it will keep running to attempt to reach the temperature you’ve chosen on your thermostat. No matter how long it runs or how hard it tries, it won’t get there or can’t stay there for long. That also means your air conditioning unit never turns off. The typical cooling cycle is 30 minutes or fewer.
Hot Zones and Cold Zones
If your home has rooms or areas that are always hot or always cold, no matter what, your air conditioning could be too small and working inconsistently. This is especially noticeable if the problem areas are those furthest away from your air conditioning unit.
If you’ve changed your HVAC filter and are starting with a clean slate, but you feel little to no cool air coming out of your vents, it could mean your air conditioner is not big enough.
When Your Air Conditioner Is Too Big
Sometimes, the signs that your air conditioner may be too large for your space are similar to those if the unit is too small. Both can cause hot and cold zones in your home and raise your energy bills. However, there are a few distinctions.
Part of your air conditioner’s job is not only to help cool your home’s air but also to remove humidity. An AC unit that is too big only takes a few minutes to completely cool your home. However, a few minutes is not enough time to dehumidify a house.
Turning off, turning on, and repeating the cycle over and over is called short cycling. And short cycling can burn out your system much more quickly.
A Humid Home
Because your air conditioning unit is short cycling and not removing enough humidity from your home’s air, your home feels humid all the time.
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Schedule Your Air Conditioner Assessment Today
Whether your air conditioning issues are due to a unit that is too small, too big, or other reasons, it is best to have an experienced Ambient Edge professional take a look. Call (702) 723-4704 or fill out the form. We’ll do the calculations and let you know just how much air conditioning power you need for your space. If your air conditioner unit is the correct size and may need repairs or a tune-up, we can help there too.