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The Problem with Improperly Sized Air Conditioners

outdoor-ac-unitImproperly sized air conditioners is a surprisingly common problem. Unfortunately, the problem is always due to the negligence of the HVAC technician who installed it, and you’re the one who has to pay for it. In this post, we’ll explain why it’s so important to make sure your HVAC contractor in Salt Lake City, UT takes all the proper considerations into sizing your unit.

Why Sizing is Necessary

Before the 1980s, the design philosophy behind air conditioners was simple: more power means quicker cooling. And who wouldn’t want quicker cooling? The problem, however, was that this approach threw efficiency out the window. The homeowner would be the one footing the bill for all that extra power.

As HVAC technology advanced, the focus shifted to finding the perfectly sized unit for each individual home. The right sized unit, combined with long cooling cycles, would allow the home to be cooled sufficiently and without exerting unnecessary amounts of energy. And that means the homeowner would now be looking at a much more reasonable energy bill.

This meant that before installation, the HVAC technician would now have to determine the best-sized unit for the home using load calculations, which included factors like total square feet, climate, number of windows in the home, and more—anything that could possibly affect how well the home receives cooling power.

The problem is that not every HVAC contractor goes through the trouble of making these load calculations. Worse, an inexperienced technician or salesman might estimate the size needed by referring to a guide or handbook. When that happens, you’re bound to get an improperly sized unit.

AC is Too Small

If the AC is too small, the result isn’t all that unexpected: it won’t have enough power to cool your home properly.

What you’ll get, then, is an AC that has to run for extended periods of time, never quite able to reach the temperature shown on your thermostat. There’s also a possibility that rooms on the farthest end of the house won’t receive the cooled air, resulting in what would feel like “hot spots.”

You can also put your hand up against the air vents to see if there’s low air flow. That, combined with continuous running, could indicate an undersized unit.

AC is Too Big

Surprisingly, an AC that’s too big won’t act opposite of how an undersized unit would; it won’t make the home too cold. Instead, the unit will turn on and off very rapidly, failing to hold the temperature set on the thermostat—a process known as short-cycling.

When the AC is correctly sized, it will cool the air through numerous cooling cycles. These gradually fill the home with cold air until the home is able to hold that new temperature for a length of time. As the cool air begins to dissipate and the temperature raises again, another cooling cycle will begin.

With short-cycling, the AC will lower the home’s temperature too quickly, thus triggering it to turn off and then back on again. Another problem with short-cycling is that the AC’s start-up and shut-down cycles require much more power than continuous running. Not only will this wasted energy make an appearance on your energy bill, but it will contribute to excess wear-and-tear on the machine.

Need help with a badly sized unit? Contact At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today!

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Salt Lake City HVAC and Plumbing Contractor | At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air

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Salt Lake City, UT Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing Services

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air provides excellent heating, air conditioning, plumbing, indoor air quality, water treatment and water heater services throughout the greater Salt Lake City, UT area, including the installation of new systems and components, and the replacement of the old, as well as ongoing repair and maintenance. Established in 1980, we have served the home comfort needs of our local community for over 30 years. Whether you need your stop and waste valve replaced or a new "green," energy–efficient HVAC system installed, we can make sure that the job is completed properly. Our HVAC contractors are NATE–certified and we employ Master and Journeyman plumbers. We are confident in our ability to satisfy any issue that may arise in your home, 24 hours a day. Give one of our friendly staff members a call today to learn more about what we can do for your home.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers quality heating, air conditioning and plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, including repair, installation and maintenance.

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When it comes to ensuring that you are comfortable during the winter months in Salt Lake City, you need to make certain that you have an excellent heating system. We offer comprehensive heating services in Salt Lake City, including installation, replacement, repair and maintenance services for a wide variety of equipment, including boilers, furnaces, and radiant heat systems. Whether you’d like to save more on your energy bills from month to month with an energy efficient heater or you want to retrofit a zone control system into your existing furnace setup, we provide heating solutions.

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For truly year–round comfort, your home needs an excellent air conditioner. At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers excellent air conditioning services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, from AC repair to maintenance, installation to replacement. We can make sure that your entire home is cooled to your satisfaction, no matter how hot and unpleasant it gets outside. We want you to feel comfortable in your home, and we have the experience and expertise to make sure that this is the case.

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Our services go well beyond HVAC, however. In addition to providing heating and cooling solutions, we provide a wide range of plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area. From whole–house repiping to drain cleaning, water line installation to leak detection, sprinkler system timer repair to kitchen plumbing, we have got you covered. We can make sure that you are able to use water safely, effectively, and efficiently in your home.

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During this very unusual time, we have put a plan in place to do our part to help keep our community safe. First and foremost, we are going to stay CALM, PATIENT, KIND, and POSITIVE!

There is much to consider regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) and its possible transmission in your home. While there are various and effective indoor air quality measures available to help protect your safety, including duct sanitization, ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light treatment, and HEPA air filters, they alone cannot protect from all forms of COVID-19 transmission. It is important to follow all official guidelines for preventing the spread of this virus.

Because we have a direct impact on the indoor environment, here are practical steps we are going to take to keep people safe:

  • Wash our hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Cover our nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Wash our uniforms every day including cleaning our belts
  • Stay home if we are feeling sick
  • Offer a warm smile and friendly greeting instead of a handshake
  • Wear shoe covers and latex gloves in homes and businesses
  • Wipe down surfaces and equipment touched in a client’s home with disinfectant wipes
  • Wipe down door handles, steering wheels, gear shift lever every day
  • Wipe down pens, clipboards, tablets, cell phones, and anything else passes between techs and clients.
  • We have masks on each truck and will wear them at client’s discretion (Currently the CDC does not recommend that people wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19)
  • We are complying with all recommendations and guidelines from state agencies and will be proactive in our efforts to see that our team members and clients are protected.

As the situation unfolds, we will take each day one at a time and ensure we are being smart, supportive, and helping all those we can in our community.

Thank you for your continued support!