In recent surveys, statistics have shown that up to half of all heating and cooling systems in the US are too big…and, in this case, bigger is NOT better. Though, smaller isn’t necessarily better, either. There are many factors to consider when purchasing new heating and cooling equipment for your home, and by far the best way to go about it is to have a trained, trustworthy professional come out and take all the proper measurements.
Don’t assume your old system is the correct size for your home when you’re considering a replacement. All heating and cooling equipment loses efficiency over time, and the only way a professional will know he’s ordering the right size is if he first performs a load calculation for your home. This calculation considers many factors, including the climate where your house is located; the size, shape, and orientation of your house; insulation levels; total area and types of windows and doors; air inflation rates; number and ages of family members; types of major appliances; and lighting used throughout the house.
If a less-than-thorough heating and cooling professional underestimates these factors and installs a system that’s too small for your home, not only will your unit not keep you comfortable, but it will also end up operating continuously. This leads to increased repairs and reduces the lifespan of the unit, as well as increases your monthly utility bills. A unit that’s too big, on the other hand, operates in very short cycles and won’t run for long enough to properly dehumidify the air, which can lead to mold and mildew. Those short cycles also mean the unit is constantly turning itself on and off again, which adds to the wear and tear of the equipment and increases the likelihood of repairs.