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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

How Does Sizing a New Air Conditioner Work?

Spring is the time to replace old air conditioners with new ones, and if you’ve made the decision to put yours out to pasture, congratulations! As spring turns to summer here in Hudson, IA, this makes the perfect time of year to plan for a new air conditioner: before the heat really hits, when you can shop around and plan for the installation of your new system the right way. While doing so, speak with your technician about sizing your new air conditioner. By that, we mean the system’s output and power levels, not physical size. It’s very important that your new air conditioning system be sized properly, but how does that process work? Here’s a quick primer for you.

The Goldilocks Rule

We tend to refer to air conditioner sizing as following the “Goldilocks Rule:” Neither too large nor too small, but just right. If the system isn’t powerful enough, it won’t be up for the job: running constantly and running up monthly bills without adequately cooling your house. But something similar happens when the air conditioner is too large. AC systems use more energy turning on and off than they do simply running, which is why you want your system to run at least 15 minutes once it powers up. Short cycling – turning on and off rapidly after cooling the house too quickly – is damaging to the air conditioner and will cost you a great deal in higher monthly bills.

Sizing Gets It Right

The solution to the Goldilocks rule is a proper sizing of your home, factoring in the following details:

  • Square footage
  • Sunlight exposure
  • Insulation
  • Number of stories
  • Presence of large or double-paned windows
  • The size of the kitchen (which generates more heat)
  • Presence of drafts or cold spots in the home

Trust Dalton PHC to properly size your new air conditioner before installing it!

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