The idea that bigger is always better doesn’t hold true when you’re shopping for HVAC units. It’s true that large HVAC units can have some perks, but only when they’re installed in the proper home size. The size of your house has a huge impact on how well a big HVAC will function. Larger properties might benefit from large HVAC units, but smaller ones will actually suffer. Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to find the best HVAC size for your home.
The Pros and Cons of Larger HVAC Units
Regardless of the size of your home, larger HVAC units tend to function a little differently than smaller ones. This leads to some distinct benefits and disadvantages associated with big HVAC units.
The main benefit of a larger HVAC unit is that it has a higher output. Compared to a smaller unit, a big one will be able to release much larger amounts of hot or cold air. This higher output can lead to faster heating or cooling as long as the unit is properly sized for your home. A large HVAC unit is also better equipped to handle intense temperatures caused by things like direct sunlight.
However, the higher output also means that a big HVAC unit will suck up a lot more power. This can lead to higher energy bills, especially on blazing hot or freezing cold days. The final downside of a big unit is that it is more expensive. Due to the larger amount of materials needed, expect to pay about $1,000 extra for each additional 25 BTU.
Reasons You May Need a Bigger HVAC System for Your Home
Ultimately, whether the pros of a big HVAC outweigh the cons will depend entirely on the size of your house. Consider how your current HVAC system is doing. If you notice it regularly running for hours at a time, this is a sign you need a bigger system. Long run cycles are especially concerning when compared with a home that never reaches your desired temperature. When your AC is running and running without being able to cool down your home, this is a sign you need a system with a bigger output.
An HVAC system that is struggling to keep up with your heating or cooling needs does more than just make your home feel uncomfortable. It also uses up way too much power. An undersized system cannot run efficiently, so you may notice your electricity bills are far too high. In these cases, paying a little more for a larger machine can actually result in better energy efficiency in the long run.
Are you experiencing all of these problems even though your HVAC system is the right size for your home’s square footage? This is actually quite common. The problem is that your home’s square footage provides just a rough estimate of your HVAC needs. There are all sorts of factors that can require extra HVAC output, such as:
- Larger numbers of residents
- A lack of shade outside
- A local climate that is very intense
- Two or more stories inside your home
- House members with unusual temperature preferences
Expect Problems if Your HVAC Unit Is Too Big for Your House
Though big HVAC units are great for larger homes with more intense heating and cooling needs, they don’t do well in smaller homes. You might assume that a big HVAC unit in a small home will lead to faster heating or cooling times. However, this isn’t actually true. The excess output from an oversized unit ends up causing several issues.
An HVAC system is designed to circulate air gradually through a home, gently adding more warm or cool air to the entire house. Oversized units tend to lead to major circulation issues because they mislead the thermostat. When a unit quickly dumps out a lot of hot or cold air, the thermostat will think your desired temperature is reached. Therefore, it will shut off your HVAC system almost as soon as the HVAC starts running. However, that doesn’t give your system enough time to circulate air all through the home. The corners, floors, and hallways of your home will still be the same old temperature they were before. To actually make the system run long enough to affect corners, you end up overheating or overcooling spots nearer vents. The end result is a home filled with unpleasant hot and cold spots.
Having an HVAC system that clicks on and off constantly does more than just cause annoying hot spots. It is also extremely bad for your HVAC unit. An HVAC machine goes through a lot of wear and tear as it turns on and off. Fans have to rapidly jump into motion and all sorts of belts, refrigerant lines, and other components have to start cycling. When your unit is doing this constantly, it puts a lot of strain on moving parts. Eventually, this can lead to breakdowns that require costly repairs, and your system will need to be replaced sooner.
HVAC units are meant to also control humidity levels inside the home. However, keeping humidity at safe levels requires the machine to cycle through most of the air in your home. When your system is oversized, it cannot run long enough to actually get rid of the humidity. This leads to a home that constantly feels damp and sticky. If your humidity is on the higher side, mold and mildew can flourish, especially in damp places like the kitchen and bathroom. Letting humidity get out of hand can cause chronic health problems like fatigue, headaches, and respiratory issues.
How to Find the Right HVAC Size for Your Home
To calculate the right size of HVAC for your home, you need to know the square footage for your house. A general rule of thumb is that every 600 square feet will require 1 ton of capacity, or 12,000 BTU per hour, to properly heat and cool. However, the temperature outside and your preferred temperature inside will play a huge role in finding the right size. If you like keeping your AC low or your heat high, you may need a larger size. Those in climates with extreme temperatures will also need to go up a size. In addition to these basic factors, an HVAC installer will also need to take into account the layout of your home, the types of insulation you have in your home, and the size of the ductwork you have.
There is a lot that goes into finding the best HVAC size for your house, so get help from the professionals! [Company_name]’s Sacramento HVAC installation services make it easy to pick out your perfect system. Our team performs a variety of heating and cooling repairs, installation, and maintenance services, and we have also fully licensed plumbers too. To learn more about the services we provide, go ahead and give us a call now.