Bigger isn’t always better! Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t install an oversized HVAC system in Rochester, NY (or anywhere else!):
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Weaker Heating and Cooling
You’d think a more powerful system would mean better comfort, right? Well, it doesn’t work that way. Instead, an oversized system will produce weaker heating and cooling.
Here’s the problem: You’ll get a whole lot of heat in the winter. But, it’ll hit all at once. Then, the system will shut off right away because the thermostat gets blasted.
As a result, the entire house won’t get warm. That’s because the heat needs to keep running long enough to reach every part of every room. Rooms with high ceilings, or upstairs rooms, will stay chilly. The system never remains on long enough to treat them.
In the summer the problem’s even worse. You get the same problem with an AC that’s too powerful: It comes on strong, then shuts off. And it never treats the whole house.
But, then the air’s not only too warm. It’s also way too humid. Dehumidification is an essential part of the air conditioning process
. It gets rids of excess moisture and makes the air feel cooler
. But, it takes time to work. And, when your AC turns off right away, it never gets the chance to remove all that extra water vapor.
You Get Cold Air in the Winter
If you thought not getting warm enough in the winter was a problem, wait till it’s freezing outside and there’s cold air coming through your vents. The problem? Ironically, a furnace that does the job too well. It’s mostly due to the same problem we've already outlined: There’s too much heat at once.
In this case, the system pushes all that warm air through the ductwork. But, there’s too much pressure at once. And, too much heat. In some cases, as we noted before, you won’t treat the entire room — especially upstairs.
But, there’s another problem in small spaces: That sudden blast of hot air has nowhere to go. So, it backs up in the vents and back into the furnace. Now, a furnace may be responsible for generating warmth. But, it’s not supposed to hold onto it. As that thermal energy builds up inside the system, it can start to damage it. So, as a failsafe, your furnace does two things. First, it shuts off. Then, you’re left with a house that’s not warm enough. Then, it blasts cold air to cool itself down. It prevents damage — in the short term, anyway.
But, that cold air has to go somewhere. And, it ends up blowing through your vents while you’re trying to stay warm.
The System Wears Out Too Quickly
You’ve noticed by now we’ve mentioned something a few times: The system will turn on, then turn right back off. Well, an over-sized system will do it over and over again — much more than usual. That causes it to wear out very quickly. It’s called short-cycling.
Usually, your furnace or AC switches on and off a few times an hour, staying on for at least 15 minutes at a stretch. But, when it’s short-cycling, it switches on and off much more often than it should. All that extra work can take years off the system
It’s sort of like how highway driving is easier on a car than city miles: All the stopping and starting means more wear and tear. It’s the same for your HVAC system: Starting up and stopping wears it out.
Meanwhile, if your furnace is short-cycling and blowing cold air, you run an even higher risk of an early breakdown. All those sudden shifts from hot to cold wear put unnatural stress on the inner components. In particular, the heat exchanger can crack
. When that happens, you need a new furnace. At that point, there’s too big a risk of carbon monoxide
leaking into your home to risk repairing it.
How to Choose a Right-Sized HVAC System
So, how do you know if an HVAC system is the right size for your home? You’ll have to get a professional to weigh in — and a trustworthy one, at that. They’ll need to do a load calculation that takes into account airflow, ductwork, the square footage of your home, and the layout of the rooms. This process gives them a detailed, nuanced idea of how much heating and cooling you’ll need — and any challenges with circulation.
Once they’ve got that information, you can begin looking at different models that offer the strength you need. At that point, you can also talk about specific features or benefits you want. It’s crucial to find a contractor that takes the time to do this. Before you choose a new HVAC system for your Rochester, PA home, call Airquip at (585) 641-3080 for a consultation. We’ll help you find the furnace and AC that’s just right for your home.