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Is your HVAC equipment properly sized? In South Florida where the heat and humidity are often extreme for most of the year, a central AC system that’s not the correct size will break down faster than expected and cost more money to operate. It’s crucial that your system be sized properly by having a load calculation assessment done.

What Happens When Your System is Oversized or Undersized?

Is an improperly sized system really that bad? Here are the problems you’ll encounter.

Oversized AC Systems

When an HVAC system is bigger than is needed, you might think since it’s more powerful it will do the job faster. That aspect is true, but there are several downsides to this. The system is shutting on and off frequently, which means electrical components, fans, etc. are turning on, turning off just a few minutes later, and turning back on again. Short cycling wears out components quickly. 

Another problem with short cycling is that rooms that are the farthest away will not be properly cooled. Uneven heating is common, and the people in those rooms will not be comfortable because of the hot spots.

Air isn’t traveling slowly through the system and giving it time to remove humidity and properly condition the air. Rooms are going to deal with increased humidity, which encourages mildew growth. 

Finally, with the quick on-and-off cycles, the motor start-up happens a lot. It’s going to drive up your bills and cause your AC system to fail long before you’d expect. 

Undersized AC Systems

You want to save money and get a system that’s smaller than you need. That’s just as bad as an oversized system. With an undersized system, it runs constantly to try to cool all of the rooms, but it’s too small for the job, so it never turns off. As a result, frequent repairs are necessary. It’s not going to last a long time, so you’ll have to replace it up to 10 years before you’d expect to. 

It’s also going to struggle to remove enough humidity from the home, so rooms are going to feel warm and stuffy. You won’t be comfortable.

Finally, it is running 24/7 to try to do its job. That’s 24/7 electricity use, so your bills will skyrocket with the excessive use.

Having the appropriate sized system is necessary if you want an efficient AC system in Miami. But, there’s also the ductwork to keep in mind. That has to be carefully sized, too.

What If the Ducts Aren’t Adequate?

Ducts are not one-size-fits-all either. Undersized ducts can be noisier, which can become an issue if you work at home and need a quiet workspace. It’s also distracting at night when you’re trying to sleep. 

Small ducts restrict airflow, making it hard for the cool air to be properly distributed throughout the home. This leads to warmer rooms in some areas of the home. Improperly sized ducts also strain your AC system, which wears out AC motors and fans faster and increases your electricity bills. Plus, you’re going to find your system breaks down before you planned. You’ll have to pay for a new AC system sooner than expected.

Oversized ducts are another problem. If the ducts are too large, the cooled air being pumped through the home has more time to warm up. By the time it’s distributed to some rooms, it will be warmer than desired. Most people will proceed to turn their thermostat down to make up for the difference, and that drives energy bills up. Oversized ducts can also increase noise levels in your home.

What Happens During a Routine Load Test?

You can hire a South Florida AC specialist like All Year Cooling to perform a load test to see if your system is the appropriate size. This process takes a lot more than the square footage into consideration. It factors all of this.

  • Square Footage: How large is your home and what are the sizes of each room?
  • Residents: The more pets and people in a home, the more heat those people and pets give off. That does factor into the cooling system you need. How often do those people cook within the home? Does anyone work from home or will the system be running at a warmer temperature when the house is empty during the day?
  • Layout/Design: What is the home’s design? Is it an open floor plan or one with rooms separated by walls? How large are the windows and how many windows are letting sunlight in? Do you have blinds or light-blocking curtains installed or not? How old are the windows? They could be letting cool air out. Ceiling height also must be considered.
  • Interior Features: A desktop computer can heat a room by almost 10ºF, providing that space is around 538 square feet. How many computers are being used? How about TVs, ovens, LED light fixtures? All of those add to the heat in a room.
  • Insulation: Is the home well-insulated or is it lacking? If insulation has never been upgraded and it’s an older home, heat loss is common, especially in the attic or at doors and windows.
  • Exterior Landscaping: Trees can help shade areas of the home to keep the sun from heating rooms in the middle of the day. The addition of awnings also helps shade rooms from intense sunlight.
  • Ductwork: Where does the ductwork go? If it travels through an attic and that attic isn’t well-insulated, the ducts are going to be exposed to hotter air than an insulated attic. If they travel into a crawlspace, they’re exposed to outside air and must be insulated to avoid heat transfer from impacting the system.

Hire a Licensed Miami HVAC Professional to Perform a Load Calculation

How do you ensure your system is the correct size? Have a licensed HVAC technician perform a load calculation in your home. This ensures that the system in your home is properly sized. 

It may be too late. You already have an improperly sized system that a former homeowner or poorly trained HVAC technician installed. The experts at All Year Cooling can help look over your system, perform maintenance, and go over your options. 

Improper sizing shortens an air conditioner’s lifespan by as much as 10 years and drives up your electricity bills trying to keep the home cool enough. Many times, it’s more cost-effective to have the system replaced before it fails or drives up your bills too high. The technicians at All Year Cooling in Miami are here to offer expert advice and ensure your home is cool and excess humidity is removed properly to avoid mold growth. Give us a call to learn more about an AC inspection and load calculation assessment.

All Year Cooling