Your HVAC system is an integral part of your home’s comfort system. Having a properly sized HVAC unit can make all the difference in keeping your Hilton Head, South Carolina, home not only comfortable by also efficient. Whether you’re concerned about your current unit or are looking into buying a new one, it’s important to know why the correct sizing is so vital. Here are some ways that improper HVAC sizing can affect your home.
Poor Temperature Control
One of the primary complaints regarding improperly sized HVAC systems is poor temperature control. If the unit is too small, it simply can’t keep up with the demands of the house and may be unable to get cooled or heated air where it needs to go. This leads to hot or cold spots as well as parts of your home being overly affected by the outside weather. For example, if you have a room with many windows, you’ll find that it won’t ever get cool during the summer nor warm up properly when the temperature plummets.
Having an HVAC unit that is too large has similar results. While it may seem like a large HVAC unit should do an extra good job at heating or cooling your home, it may actually lead to even poorer temperature control and worse indoor conditions. You’ll also experience hot and cool spots and an overall uneven temperature in your home that can vary from room to room.
Because the unit isn’t the right size for your home, it may end up constantly running. For smaller HVAC units, this is because it has to work constantly to meet the temperature set by your thermostat. Larger units don’t run constantly but instead fall victim to short cycles. Short cycles are when the unit cuts off before a cycle is complete. Since it’s capable of cooling or heating more air than your home needs, its sensors will get tripped early, indicating that your house has met the correct temperature.
This is what causes the uneven temperature throughout your home: It is cooling or heating the area appropriately around the vents, but it doesn’t manage to get throughout the whole house. Normal HVAC units take a longer time to meet the temperature, giving the air plenty of time to move around your home. Short cycles cut the time period off, leading to smaller areas of climate-controlled air that create pockets of different temperatures.
It figures then that efficiency is an issue with incorrectly sized HVAC units. Whether it is kicking on all the time or doing multiple short bursts, it isn’t running as intended. This leads to higher energy consumption and poorer efficiency.
In addition, homeowners that are dealing with too-small HVAC units often decide to try out additional climate control measures such as mini-split ductless systems or floor fans. While these are decent solutions and can help address the temperature problems, they also take up energy and can lead to even worse efficiency.
Lack of Circulation
Whether the unit is too small or too large, you’ll experience lacking circulation. Units that are too small often aren’t able to reach rooms that are further from the central unit, leaving them stagnant. Even the areas it can access often don’t have strong airflow. This leads to uncomfortable homes that feel stuffy and have higher levels of humidity.
Due to the short cycling problem, too-large HVAC units also suffer from circulation issues. When airflow stops soon after it begins, it isn’t able to move the temperature-controlled air properly through your home. While each room should be receiving a good amount of air, the movement doesn’t last long enough to create good circulation.
When HVAC systems are pushed too hard because of improper sizing, the wear and tear on their components are also increased. This compounds over time and can dramatically shorten the lifespan of your HVAC unit. Even regular maintenance, which can catch and prevent most major breakdowns, may not be enough to keep your system from crashing. This is a problem with too large and too small units alike.
Image provided by Shutterstock