Installing or replacing an HVAC system is a serious investment, but it’s one that often makes a lot of sense. That’s because new systems typically offer greater reliability, comfort, and energy savings for years to come. However, there’s one important caveat. Those long-term benefits depend on proper HVAC system sizing. To ensure your investment pays off, make sure you’re working with expert heating and AC contractors in Monroe, North Carolina. Experienced HVAC professionals understand why it’s so essential to do things the right way and follow industry sizing standards.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
It’s natural to assume that larger HVAC systems are more effective at maintaining comfortable conditions in your home. After all, a more powerful system should be able to deliver much more rapid heating or cooling when it’s needed. As it turns out, that’s exactly the problem. Oversized systems often reach the thermostat’s setpoint temperature before the full heating or cooling cycle can be completed. This leads to short-cycling, which is a condition in which an HVAC system frequently and repeatedly cycles on and off.
A short-cycling system can cause a variety of problems. Repetitive cycling is extremely hard on HVAC equipment, often causing excessive wear and requiring more frequent professional maintenance visits. It can also lead to poor overall comfort. Operating in short bursts may not provide enough circulation to evenly distribute conditioned air, which leads to inconsistent temperatures. This lack of circulation also compromises moisture control, potentially leaving your home feeling overly warm, humid and stuffy. Finally, short-cycling systems typically filter less air and remove fewer indoor air pollutants.
Undersized and Overworked
Oversizing is the most common equipment mistake during installation, but it’s not the only one. It’s also not unusual to see systems that are just too small for the homes they’re treating. This often occurs when contractors overlook or ignore factors that can make a home less efficient than expected. It can also happen when an addition or renovation increases your home’s heating and cooling needs beyond your current system’s capacity.
As you might expect, an undersized HVAC system is just the opposite of an oversized one. A system with limited capacity needs to run for much longer periods to keep temperatures in check. In some cases, an underpowered system may not be able to reach a comfortable temperature at all. This translates to excessive system wear, higher utility costs, and poor comfort control. Undersized units may even fail prematurely, requiring replacement well before they reach the end of their expected service life.
Achieving Proper HVAC System Sizing
Considering HVAC equipment sizing is so important, you might expect that every system would be calibrated with care. Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why many systems fall outside of the appropriate range. Some HVAC installers rely on rough rules of thumb to estimate sizing in order to speed up the installation process. Others fail to properly account for all of the factors that can influence size requirements. This is especially common with inexperienced installers who aren’t familiar with the local area.
To ensure precise, accurate sizing of every system, expert heating and AC contractors rely on calculating heating and cooling loads. Proper load calculations are done according to the industry-standard Manual J process. This process accounts for variables ranging from square footage to home orientation to the number of windows and doors. By calculating all these factors, technicians can determine exactly how much heating and cooling capacity your home needs. That means you’ll get a right-sized system that delivers optimal performance, comfort and savings.
Before you spend your hard-earned money on a new HVAC system, make sure it’s a perfect match for your home. For proper HVAC system sizing every time, check out Byrum Heating & AC’s AC installation services or call 704-208-4165.