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The Importance of Load Calculations

air-conditioning-technician-doing-maintenance-on-outdoor-unitIf you’re on the market for a new air conditioner you know that certain aspects like the price, brand, and type of air conditioner you choose for your home matter. What you may not realize is that the size of your air conditioner is a key component of your cooling process.  The right size system gives you the optimal levels of comfort and energy efficiency. Instead of trying to fumble through this process alone, have a trained professional like ours here at Western Heating & Cooling calculate the load for you. If you want the most. If you want the most from your air conditioning in Portland, OR, a load calculation helps immensely.

What Happens If My Unit Is Too Big?

You might think that a unit that’s oversized for your home isn’t an issue—a larger unit just means more power, right? Wrong! If your central air conditioner is too big for your home, it causes inefficiency and several other issues:

  • The biggest problem that an oversized unit causes is short-cycling. Short-cycling is the term for when a system turns itself on and off repeatedly running for short amounts of time.
  • An oversized unit deprives your family of a consistent temperature that a properly sized system could give you.
  • The constant short-cycling causes your system to use more energy and drive up your electric bill.
  • A large system creates unnecessary noise as excess air moves through the ductwork.
  • An oversized system fails to remove humidity from the air because your unit has such a short run time. Running for such a short time means that your unit can’t effectively pull the humidity from your air.

What Happens If My Unit Is Too Small?

A system that is too small for your home is equally as inefficient as one that’s oversized for your home, but the symptoms are different.

  • Unlike short-cycling with an oversized system, an undersized air conditioning unit will have an incredibly long air conditioning cycle. A good rule of thumb is that if your air conditioning unit is running for longer than 30 minutes at one time it’s too long.
  • A system that’s too small will run constantly and spend most of its time functioning trying to catch up to your cooling needs rather than maintaining a cool temperature.
  • Your system is more prone to breakdowns and constant maintenance to keep your system running optimally because your system is running continuously. The high run times make you more prone to early wear and tear.
  • Your air conditioner will have a shorter lifespan because it’s constantly overburdened trying to cool a space that’s too big.

The Right Size AC System

An AC system that’s sized just right will run through the right amount of cycles to keep your home comfortable without exerting too much energy. It maintains efficiency, keeps your energy bills reasonable, and allows your indoor temperature to remain consistent. A load calculation is an essential step in acquiring a new air conditioning unit—it makes or breaks your system.

If you need help finding the right size air conditioner, contact Western Heating & Cooling today to schedule service.

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