Did you know that an air conditioner can be too big for your home? Yes, a larger system will cool your home faster, but this is not a good thing. The question of size is critical when installing an air conditioning system. Opting for an improperly sized system can create a few problems.
Let’s begin with a question: Have you ever been in a place that is cool but still feels clammy or humid? My guess is that yes, you have experienced this before. Particularly in restaurants where you might have noticed that the air around you felt cool, but was somehow still clammy.” Let’s say you went into a restaurant for the early bird special, you walk in and it’s freezing in there. The reason for this is that the restaurant a/c systems are often sized for worst case scenarios – for when they are packed with customers. While it’s understandable these air conditioning systems are sized to accommodate a large number of people, but the early bird special crowd might be much smaller than the crowd at 7:00pm. So, the restaurant’s management turns the system way down to prepare for the evening crowd and to reduce the humidity level. A comfort system has two jobs to perform in order for the occupants to be comfortable. The system needs to reduce temperature and then reduce humidity. The temperature part is the easy one. The humidity part is where we run into problems, especially when it comes to over-sizing the equipment. Humidity control is achieved through what is known as air exchanges. This is the number of times the air in a conditioned space goes through the system in a given amount of time. Lack of sufficient air exchanges will equal to a humidity problem, and this is where we get back to the over-sizing part. If we have a system that is too large, the temperature in the conditioned space will come down too fast. This will prevent the cold air from being passed through enough air exchanges at a sufficient rate. Therefore, the humidity in the room will begin to rise, leading to that “pleasant” cold-clammy feeling. But running the system long enough to allow for enough air exchanges, will drop the temperature – often to uncomfortable levels. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy chattering my teeth at dinner, or ever come to think of it. The end result is that the system will run longer, using up more energy and by the time it cycles enough air to reduce the humidity, the dinner crowds are beginning to disperse. So when selecting your next system, talk to your air conditioning contractor and make sure that the new system you’re planning to install is perfect size for your home.
Thanks for reading,
Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com