With Air Conditioners, Bigger Isn’t Always Better!

Do you know the capacity of your air conditioning system? An a/c’s capacity is noted in terms of tons. One ton equals 12,000 BTU’s, therfore a 3 ton unit system has 36,000 BTU’s. Specifically, one ton is the amount of cooling power needed to freeze one ton of water into ice in 24 hours. Obviously, a larger system will cool faster than a smaller one.Given this, you may think that having a bigger A/C unit is preferable since it will cool more quickly. Guess what? That’s not the case. Of course, you want to size equipment so that it can provide adequate cooling even on the hottest days of summer; but you don’t want to overdo it, especially if you live in a humid climate like Charlotte. We all realize that the primary function of an air conditioner is to cool your home. The secondary important function of an air conditioner is to remove humidity. Anytime your air conditioner is running, it is not only making you cool it is also removing moisture.
Hot air can hold more water than cold air, so when we drop the temperature we reduce the air’s ability to hold water. As warm moist air passes through your return duct and travels over the cold evaporator, the moisture condenses on the coil and drains out of your home. This is then drained through a condensate line to the outside. An air conditioner is able to remove heat faster than it can reduce humidity, this means that the run time of your air conditioning system is of critical importance. Since it takes your system longer to dehumidify than cool, you want your system sized correctly so you are not cooling too fast and being left with a damp environment. We all know that damp air is not comfortable, but it can cause other problems as well such as mold growth.
Some studies indicate that air conditioners are oversized as much as 75% of the time. If you are thinking about replacing your air conditioning system, give MTB Heating and Air a call. We will send one of our experienced estimators out to do a load calculation. This will determine the proper size unit you need to stay comfortable and avoid moisture problems.