Sizing: The Secret to a Great Air Conditioning Installation


What is the most important consideration when getting a new central air conditioning system? You’ll probably think first of price, features, and energy efficiency. These are all factors to keep in mind. But arguably the most critical thing you need to know is the size of the air conditioning system. And we don’t mean its physical size. We mean how much cooling it can put out. If this is done wrong, the AC installation will be a failure no matter what.

How Can I Know Which Size Is Right?

The simple answer is that you can’t. Not unless you are an HVAC technician with experience, training, and the right equipment. Finding the right size AC, which is called sizing it, must never be left to guesswork or gut feelings. When you are planning on having a new air conditioning system installation, the first step is to call on the pros.

The Difference That Proper Sizing Makes

Sizing an AC is about finding the sweet spot between “unpowered” and “overpowered.” People often assume that erring on the side of “overpowered” is better. You can always just turn the AC down, right? But that isn’t how central cooling works. Let’s look at the outcomes of the two incorrect sizing choices:

  • AC is too small: When an air conditioning system cannot draw out enough heat from a home to maintain it at the desired temperature on the thermostat, and AC’s compressor and fan will run almost continually to make up the difference. This means a large amount of wasted power, a run-down cooling system, and a house that still isn’t cool enough.
  • AC is too large: An air conditioner that draws out too much heat as it operates will cause a rapid drop in the temperature that the thermostat will misread as applying to the entire house. The thermostat then shuts off the AC’s cooling cycle too early. Then it turns it right back on again, and then turns it off. This on-off repetition is called short-cycling, and it’s a disaster for an AC. The wear is excessive, leading to an early system replacement, the utility bills are enormous, and the AC won’t stay on long enough to get cooling to all of the house.

What Professionals Do to Size an Air Conditioning System

When you work with our HVAC technicians, they’ll perform a load calculation to determine how powerful the new AC must be for comfort and energy efficiency. This calculation takes various factors about the house—its size, the number of people in it, levels of insulation, number of windows, number of heat-producing appliances—and crunches them through a formula. The calculation produces the number of cooling tons (a measurement of heat removed) an air conditioner must provide. The technicians then find an AC with that tonnage to install.

You can count on our team for air conditioning installation and air conditioning repair in Albuquerque, NM. We’re already on our way!

Why wait for service when you can get it Express? Santa Fe Express Plumbing & Drain serves Santa Fe, Espanola, Los Alamos, and Pecos.

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