There is no “one size fits all” for cooling systems. Your home has unique cooling needs, and your contractor should take the time to discover what those needs are and size your new cooling system accordingly.
Unfortunately, the importance of efficient home energy use hasn’t always been recognized, and many homes in Northwest Arkansas have cooling equipment that is oversized. This means it is too large for their actual needs. In the past, it was not uncommon for contractors to install systems that had four times more than the necessary cooling capacity.
At first glance, this may not seem like a big problem, but oversized cooling systems are very inefficient. Cycling on and off at a rapid clip, they don’t run long enough to comfortably cool and dehumidify your air. They end up overworking to reach thermostat settings, cycling more often than appropriate, and failing to keep you comfortable. Oversized systems also cost more to operate, and generally need more maintenance.
Instead of installing a system based on what you previously had, or based solely on the square footage of your home, your contractor should calculate your cooling load, or needs, using a complicated set of guidelines. They should take into account a wide variety of factors, including:
- The square footage and shape of your home
- Your building’s geographic orientation
- Sources of energy loss throughout your home, including air leaks in your building
- The design and efficiency of your ductwork
- The particular cooling needs of each room
- Whether your home has adequate insulation
- The heat output of other appliances
- How many residents live in the home
- Comfort preferences of family members
It’s possible to lower your cooling load by reducing your home’s energy use. Small home projects, such as sealing and insulating your ductwork, adding insulation to your attic, and simple adjustments like using ceiling fans can all reduce your cooling load. The lower your cooling load, the smaller your new cooling system can be.
If you have questions about how your new cooling equipment should be properly sized and installed, call Paschal Heating, Air & Geothermal. We’re proud to serve homeowners in Northwest Arkansas!
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Paschal Heating, Air & Geothermal services Northwest Arkansas. To get started, check out our website.