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Pay Attention to Power Levels in a New AC


Springtime is the time of year when homeowners give their old air conditioners a thorough look to determine if they can handle another summer of work. If they can’t, then now makes an excellent time to handle a replacement. Doing so lets you take advantage of a newer, more efficient air conditioning in time for summer: saving you money with improved efficiency and other features as well. It also lets you enjoy your summer air conditioning without worrying about an older system breaking down right as the biggest heat water of the year hits.

When selecting a new air conditioner, there are a number of factors you need to consider. Most prominent among these is the air conditioner’s power output: the cooling power it generates to send into your homes. You may be surprised to find the equation is trickier than it appears.

Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

Most people assume – quite naturally – that their air conditioner should be as powerful as they can afford. This isn’t strictly true. Certainly, you need your new system to be powerful enough to handle the cooling demands of your home. An underpowered system will just run and run and run without every getting the home cool. But overpowered systems can be just as wasteful.

Air conditioners use much more energy starting up and shutting down than they do simply running. That’s why they need to run for at least 15 minutes at a time in order to make the most of the energy used. But an overpowered air conditioner will cool the house too quickly: shutting down after a short amount of time, only to turn on again a few minutes later as the heat of the day warms the home up.

The process is known as short cycling and it can be devastating to your air conditioner. It will cost you more than it should in wasted energy, as well as increasing wear and tear on the system: shortening its lifespan and increasing the chances of a breakdown sooner rather than later.

How to Ensure the Right Size

With a new air conditioner, we like to refer to something we call the Goldilocks Rule: it should be neither too large nor too small but just right. A trained technician can help you with that. It starts with a thorough examination of your home to determine the proper power levels required to keep it cool. That starts with square footage, but there are other factors involved as well. For instance, if your home has a lot of insulation, it will retain cool air more effectively, while a lot of big picture windows with a western view will require more cooling power since they will let a lot of sunlight in. A trained technician can perform those calculations, then recommend the perfect sized air conditioner for you.

Here in Haverford, PA, quality air conditioning replacement services can be performed by the pros at Murphy’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. If you need a new system installed before the summer, give us a call!

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