The Cold, Hard Truth About Air Conditioners

The Cold, Hard Truth About Air Conditioners

Many contractors install air conditioners that are way too big. Why would they do that?

Well, it depends on the contractor, but many installers oversize air conditioners because:

  • They don’t know any better.
  • They rely on HVAC “rules of thumb” instead of building science.
  • They’re worried a smaller unit won’t handle the cooling load.

It’s a common mistake, and it leads to all sorts of problems. For one thing, the cooling cycles are really short, so you end up lowering your thermostat to keep the AC running. An oversized unit also won’t run long enough to remove much humidity from the air.

So the temperature is low, but the humidity is high. Bottom line? You’re still hot.

Here’s how to fix the problem

You can always scrap your current AC for a new one that’s properly sized, but you might not want to do that right now. Fear not! There are solutions.

Here are some ways to stay comfortable all summer long, even when your AC tonnage exceeds your needs:

  • Set your blower fan to “Auto.” There’s moisture on your system’s indoor coil. If your fan is set to “on,” it’s blowing that moisture into your home even while the AC isn’t on. Setting it to “Auto” fixes this problem.
  • Run exhaust fans while showering and cooking. Why release extra humidity into a house that’s already humid? Running those fans removes the moisture before it circulates throughout your home.
  • Air seal your home envelope. A blower door-guided air sealing test shows you all the places humid air “leaks” into your home. Following the test, you can seal the leaks and cut off humidity at the source.
  • Install a whole-house dehumidifier. These units connect to your existing ductwork and pick up the slack for your oversized AC. They’ll remove humidity while the AC isn’t running, keeping you cool and dry all summer long.

Got questions? Contact PV today!

If you’re already dreading another sticky summer with high cooling bills, now is the time to take action. Contact PV today to discuss your comfort problem!