How big is too big? Well when it comes to a/c systems bigger can not always mean better. The question of size is critical when installing an air conditioning system. The misnomer that bigger is better can create a tremendous amount of problems. One might think that a bigger system will cool faster and save on electric bills. While this may be true, there are problems. A bigger system will cool faster but this is not a good thing. What?! You may ask, this man must be mad. Who wouldn’t want a system that cools faster and saves money on my electric bills? Give me a chance and I will try and explain.
Let’s start with a question. Have you ever been in a place that is cool but still feels clammy? I’ll answer the question for you since you obviously aren’t here right now. “Why yes, Bryan, I have been in a place that felt cool but still clammy.” Thank you, and I’ll take it from here. Restaurants are notorious for this. You decide to go in for the early bird special. You walk in and it’s freezing in there. The reason for this is that a/c systems are sized for worst case scenarios and this can be a problem. The systems need to be sized to accommodate a large number of people, but the early bird special crowd might be thinner then the 7:00 crowd. I don’t mean waist line either, just less people. So the management turns the system way down to get a jump on the evening crowd, and to reduce the humidity level. The result is the temperature needs to come way down in order to drop the humidity level.
A comfort system has 2 jobs to perform in order for the occupants to be comfortable. The system needs to reduce temperature and 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 of 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. If we don’t have enough air exchanges you will have a humidity problem, 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 to quickly therefore not allowing enough air exchanges and presto we have a high humidity problem.
Let’s go back to the restaurant now, so in order for the humidity to be reduced we need to run the system longer for increased air exchanges and you need a sweater just so you can order that $6.99 grouper sandwich that’s on special. Enjoy!!!!
Thank s as always, Bryan Hayes along with Brother Todd owns a Sanibel Air conditioning Company as well as a electrical service company here on Sanibel. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com.