When it comes to air conditioner installation, it is important to understand that larger units may not be the best option for your home. While it might seem like it’s better to have a unit that has a larger cooling capacity, especially during humid Texan summers, oversized units can be more costly and will not work well in small homes.
It’s no surprise that more people are looking for air conditioners now, with the warmer weather fast approaching in Mansfield, TX. When it comes to air conditioners, it’s not a matter of “more is always better”. An air conditioner that is too big for your home could cause as many problems as an AC unit that is too small. An air conditioner installation that is too large can cause your unit to cycle on and off all the time, which could reduce its ability to remove humidity, increase your electric bill, and may lead to uneven cooling and hotspots in your home.
Measure the Area You’d Like to Cover with Your AC Installation
You will need to determine the square footage of your room before you can calculate the BTUs of the air conditioner you require. Simply multiply the width by the length for rectangular or simple square rooms. A master bedroom, for example, often measures approx. 250-400 square feet, so a slightly larger system may be required to cool this room vs. if you’re trying to cool a smaller playroom. Areas with open floor plans, e.g. Mansfield, TX homes with combined living room, dining room, and kitchen area, will require larger units also.
Calculate How Many BTUs per Square Foot
Energy Star estimates that you will need 20-30 BTUs for every square foot of cooling power. A room measuring 250-300 square feet would require 7,000 BTUs of cooling power, while a home measuring 1,400-1,500 square feet would require 24,000 BTUs. Here are some more power outputs to keep in mind, in relation to room size:
- 100 to 150 square feet – Requires 5,000 BTUs
- 450 to 550 square feet – Requires 12,000 BTUs
- 1,000 to 1,200 square feet – Requires 21,000 BTUs
- 2,000 to 2,500 square feet – Requires 34,000 BTUs
Take room traits into account
Energy Star says that a room with a lot of sunlight will require 10 percent less cooling capacity than other rooms. To account for heat from the stove or other appliances, you will need 600 BTUs per person who occupies the room, if more than two. Other factors that can impact the number of BTUs per square feet you need include how much insulation you have and how many windows you have in the room.
Choose the Type of Air Conditioner You Need
There are many AC options that can help you keep cool. A central air conditioner installation can cool your entire house using one unit, reduce humidity, add resale value to your Mansfield home, and is available in space-saving configurations. However, they can be costly to install, especially if you’re looking to have a central air conditioner installation retrofitted.
Window AC units are another cooling option, popular with DIYers as they are simpler to install. Although, they only cool one room at a time and require access to windows.
Portable air conditioners allow you to move the cooling capability from room to room. Some models don’t need venting outside, which means you can use them in areas such as basements and garages that have smaller or non-existent windows.
Problems with an Oversized AC Unit
An air conditioner installation that’s oversized can be quite costly. Not only are larger units more expensive to buy in the first place, but you may end up spending more money on utility bills and repairs in the long run.
Short-cycling and its effects
Oversized units are, on the face of it, more efficient than a lot of smaller units, but this only applies if they operate safely over a long period of time in the correct setting. If the air conditioner installation is oversized for the space that it’s being used in, you’ll likely see a phenomenon called short-cycling. This is when the system is prevented from completing a full cooling cycle before turning off, as it’s only running for a short time before reaching temperature and then shutting down again.
Typically, the right air conditioner will take approximately 10 minutes to complete a full cooling cycle. When a unit is oversized, this time is shortened, and the compressor and other components will be turned off and on more frequently causing premature wear.
Higher utility bills
AC systems that are larger than average use more power because they turn on and off much more often. These increases in power usage lead to higher long-term energy bills and renders an air conditioner installation very inefficient.
Benefits of a Correctly Sized AC Installation
Many people find that having the right size air conditioner can make a big difference in their lives. You can avoid problems with short-cycling or higher utility bills, as well as a some other benefits, including:
Better humidity control
Southeast Texas is humid. A properly sized AC unit can cycle for enough time to dehumidify a household’s interior. Dehumidification keeps a home clean and prevents mildew and mold from growing indoors.
Fewer maintenance problems
Your unit may overheat and components may prematurely wear out when short-cycling is evident. Properly sized units for a household have fewer problems overall, and require AC repairs from excessive wear and tear.
Improved overall comfort
AC units properly sized produce air at lower volumes, which is why they don’t disrupt the household environment. While these units are slower to cycle, taking 10+ minutes to reach the desired temperature, they help keep a home cool and comfortable.
If you’re unsure about which air conditioner installation is best for your Mansfield, TX home, call the professionals at Minuteman Heating & Air. Replacing an aging or incorrectly sized air conditioner installation with a new unit that’s correctly sized for the intended space has a multitude of benefits that you can reap for years to come.