Your Air conditioner is on the fritz again, and of course it always happens when you need it the most. You may be wondering is it time to consider an air conditioner replacement?
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You wouldn’t buy a suit or dress twice your size or two times smaller ? No! Did you know that most new homes have a similarly ridiculous case of under sizing or over sizing? It’s true. So why is this the case?
Because HVAC load calculations require the time to find out your homes details, most HVAC contractors still use outdated rules of thumb to determine the sizes of the air conditioning systems they install. Usually it’s based on square footage of your home. Contractors in many areas generally use 400 to 600 square feet per ton as their rule. the problem with that is every house is different; for example the same house rotated ninety degrees could vary in cooling load by 30% or more.
You may think that having a bigger system is better, that may be how they do things in Texas, but that way just doesn’t work in North Carolina. In the case of air conditioning, oversized cooling systems result in:
Another reason to install correctly sized HVAC systems is the ENERGY STAR new home program requires no more than 15% over-sizing of cooling systems.
The correct way to size an air conditioning system is with Manual J, a protocol developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). Manual J HVAC load calculations determine how much heating and cooling a house actually needs. A quality contractor will properly perform a load calculation on your home to ensure your system is tailor made for your home This is a commitment of time and effort (e.g. money) so you can see why lazy contractors developed rules of thumb. Its required by the code that a load calculation be performed every time a system is replaced and any deficiency be corrected at that time. Sadly most contractors don’t perform a load calculation because there is no way to enforce this code.