Choose the Right Air Conditioner Size: Too Much Air Conditioning Is a Bad Idea

Bigger is better, right?  Not necessarily.  In some area, bigger can be a disaster.  Case in point:  air conditioning.

You need a new air conditioner.  You want to keep things cool and you’re not afraid to spend a little money to secure a top of the line system.  You can buy a unit that’s rated for your home’s approximate square footage or you can spend a little bit more for a bigger unit that can cool a larger space.

Which way are you going with this?  Many people will spend that little extra to get the bigger air conditioner.  Bigger is better, they assume.  They’re worried about not having enough power to handle the hot summer days and they know that a little bit of overshoot will insure sufficient cold air to keep things comfy no matter how nasty it gets outside.

Here’s what they don’t think about:  The reasons why buying too much air conditioner will backfire on you.

The fact of the matter is that the bigger unit will cool things down faster.  Much faster.  Believe it or not, that’s a problem.  You’ll hit the desired temperature in record time.  Then, the AC will shut off.  And eventually the temp will increase ever-so-slightly and the massive system will pop back on again.  Within seconds, you’ll be cooled down again.  The process will then repeat itself.

That rapid on/off cycling is one of the fastest ways to put disabling wear and tear on an air conditioner.  Thus, running a “big boy” when you don’t need one will result in a faster degradation of the unit.  That’s not particularly cost-effective.

And it’s not particularly quiet, either.  All of that on and off can get annoying.  Especially when you’re using a bigger system that produces more noise than a smaller one.

There’s another problem, too.  The bigger AC units use more electricity than their smaller counterparts–a fact that becomes very evident when you compare the quantity of power used when a unit cycles on after being off.  You see where this is going, right?  You’re cycling the big unit to death, which is also jacking up your electric bills.

The solution is simple.  Buy the right air conditioner in the first place.  Resist the urge to buy a huge unit if you don’t need one.  The idea of having a little extra “oomph” may sound appealing, but it’s really a horrible decision.  You’ll wear down your new AC in a hurry and you’ll spend more for the privilege of damaging the expensive equipment.

Bigger isn’t better.  Not when it comes to air conditioners.  You don’t want to go too small, but you don’t want to go too large either.  You need to find an air conditioning system that was designed for a home like yours.