In Texas, bigger is better – but not when it comes to air conditioning units. If you purchased a large AC unit in hopes of keeping cooler, you may actually be setting yourself up for humidity problems. Follow our guidelines to help determine the right size of air conditioner for your home.
Why Do Large AC units Cause Humidity Issues?
Larger units cycle too frequently and don’t run long enough to remove moisture from your home air. Proper dehumidification requires your air conditioner to run long enough that it fully pulls moisture from the air as it runs across the cooling coils.
Dehumidification doesn’t happen until the air conditioner has been on for about ten minutes. If your AC unit is too large, it only runs for a short time before the indoor air temperature is cool enough to match your thermostat settings. But if very little air has cycled through the air conditioner, only minimal moisture has been removed. Since a larger AC unit stops and starts frequently, the dehumidifier may never engage at all.
What Does Humid Air Mean For My Home?
Humid air always feels warmer than it is – that’s why a day that’s 80˚F with 1% humidity feels like paradise, while one that’s 80˚F with 40% humidity feels like an extreme sauna. If the humidity is up in your home, you’re forced to turn down the thermostat in order to keep your family cool and comfortable. For every degree you turn your thermostat down, you spend 10-15% more energy.
In addition, mold and mildew love moisture. If your air conditioner is unable to dehumidify your home, your indoor air quality suffers. Mold and mildew are dangerous allergens that cause or worsen respiratory problems. They are also the root cause behind dank, musty smells in your home. By getting a properly sized air conditioner, you’re able to remove most of the moisture from your home’s air and prevent these unwelcome guests from entering.
How Should I Choose The Right-Sized AC Unit For My Home?
When you’re ready to find an air conditioner that’s best suited for your home cooling needs, take the following into account:
- Square footage of your home: The larger your home, the more powerful your AC unit should be.
- Ceiling heights: Higher ceilings mean more displacement of air (warm air rises).
- Window and door placement: Sunlight warms your home and affects the indoor air temperature.
- Condition of the window and door seals: Leaky, cracked or dry seals around doors and windows allow outdoor air to enter and indoor air to escape.
- Attic and wall insulation: Old, thin or inefficient insulation enables heat to escape through all faces of your house.
- Drafts: Older windows let air seep into your home, and wider door jambs encourage a constant influx of outside air.
- Number of people living in your home: More people means more heat, so your AC unit needs to work harder to keep temperatures down.
- Number of people that have allergies: Allergy sufferers require special attention with regard to keeping air clean, filtered and free of contaminants.
- Air filtration systems: Supplemental air purification systems filter the air in certain rooms or areas of your home. Full-home air filtration systems treat the whole house and take some of the workload off your AC unit.
When it comes to choosing an air conditioner, you’re only interested in one thing: keeping your family cool and comfortable when the weather gets hot. Don’t fall into the trap of choosing the biggest AC unit available. Instead, opt for the one that’s best suited for your home.
Want to know more about choosing the best air conditioner for your home? Contact the On Time Experts! Your very own Comfort Consultant is standing by to help keep your family comfortable year-round.