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AC Installation: Bigger Is Not Always Better

top view of an air conditioner outside unitAre you concerned that this is the summer your home’s current air conditioner will finally quit its ability to keep your home cool and comfortable? If you are, or if you’ve already made the decision to replace your air conditioner, the time to get a new one is now. However, we encourage you to take your time in this decision—know what the cost factors are, and don’t rush out and buy the biggest system you can get within your budget.

The reason we say this is because too many homeowners go out and get the largest cooling system they can find without realizing that bigger doesn’t always mean better. In fact, you can be doing more harm than good to your overall cooling system by going this route. This is why it’s important to trust only those professionals who are educated and appropriately trained in Glenview HVAC services for your air conditioner installation.

Let’s Talk More about Size

When we talk about air conditioner size, we’re referring to the system’s tonnage. This isn’t about how much an air conditioner weighs, but rather the amount of cooling that air conditioner provides for the space in which it is installed.

The cooling power of your AC system is measured in the units of heat that system removes from the air. Cooling systems don’t generate cold air, since cold is not a form of energy. The cooling process instead relies on the removal of heat, and tonnage refers to the amount of heat an air conditioner can draw from a home over an hour.

This heat removal process is measured as BTUs (British Thermal Units), which is the amount of heat needed to change the temperature of a pound of water one degree. Therefore, a ton of cooling power means your AC system removes 12,000 BTUs from the building’s air per hour. Each additional ton accounts for another 12,000 BTUs.

“So, How Much Tonnage Is Required for My Home?”

Just like anything in life, this answer is going to differ from situation to situation. There are a number of factors that go into this calculation. Most homeowners believe that it’s just the square footage of the home that’s important, but this is only part of the equation.

When measuring cooling loads/tonnage, our technicians look at things like what kind of insulation you have, the number of people living in your household, the number of windows and heat-producing appliances in the home, and even the number of doors and windows. You can trust our team to find the right size for your specific home and needs.

What Happens When There Is Too Much Tonnage?

Getting back to our “bigger is not always better” statement—you likely know why too small of an air conditioner is a bad idea. It simply won’t be powerful enough to cool your living space. But too large of a system doesn’t help.

If your air conditioner system has too much tonnage, it will go through a process called short-cycling. This is when your air conditioner shuts off and turns back on rapidly, wearing down on the components of the cooling system and eventually leading to premature system breakdown. In the end, this costs you more in your monthly bills as well as replacing an air conditioner before you should need to.

For more great AC tips and even better service, reach out to the team at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning today.

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