Slow down. I know that in the hot, humid Georgia summers you’re in a rush if you need a new central air conditioner. But don’t settle for purchasing a new one based on price or energy efficiency alone. You need to pay attention to the air conditioner’s size first. Otherwise, you’ll pay for it down the road in high energy bills and tons of frustration. Note: When we mention an air conditioner’s “size” we mean its cooling ability/capacity (measured in tons). Read this article to understand the costly consequences of installing an incorrectly sized air conditioner and how you can find the size that’s perfect for you.

Consequences of shopping based on price- Undersized A/C

If you shop for an air conditioner based on price alone, you’ll pay for it in the long run. You’ll most likely get an undersized air conditioner that can’t properly cool your home. This causes a variety of problems including:

  • Uncomfortably warm rooms
  • Extremely high energy bills
  • Constantly running air conditioner
  • Decreased air conditioner lifespan

Why bigger isn’t always better- Oversized A/C Y

We might think that the higher the cooling ability the better, right? Not quite. If an air conditioner is too big and cools your home too fast, it will cycle on and off more often. This is a problem for a few reasons:

  • Runs up your energy bill (because turning on an air conditioner requires more energy)
  • Increases the chance of a breakdown
  • Shortens your air conditioner’s lifespan.

How to find the right size central air conditioner

There are free online calculators that try to determine the size of air conditioner you need based on the square footage of your home. However, those calculators overlook other important factors like:

  • Materials used in the construction of your home
  • Structure of your home (like if you have vaulted ceilings)
  • The climate zone you live in
  • Number of windows and skylights in your home (and their length and width)
  • Home’s orientation in relation to the sun
  • How well your walls and attic are insulated

Related Reading