Importance of Proper Air Conditioner Sizing

In today’s modern culture, the theme of “bigger is better” is present basically everywhere. It’s a highly American theme, one that often makes sense, but one that, in other cases, is actually just representative of excess for excess’s sake – and a great example here comes within the HVAC world.

At My Buddy the Plumber in Salt Lake City, one of the most common mistakes we see inexperienced clients make relates directly to this size theme: They simply assume that the largest available component within their budget is the best, particularly within the world of heating or air conditioning installation. But in reality, simply buying the largest air conditioner you can afford can lead to several issues – let’s go over a few of these and explain why it’s vital to make these decisions with an HVAC professional at your side, someone who can inform you of the important factors at play.

importance air conditioner sizing

Short Cycling Risks

In many cases, buying the biggest air conditioner available will mean your AC is too powerful for the space in your home. This will lead to the system cooling the home faster than needed, before a full cooling cycle has taken place – when the system then shuts off too early, this is called short cycling. Short cycling has several negative outcomes, several of which we’ll get into below, but one of the most damaging is the way it strains various other HVAC components and often wears them down years earlier than would have otherwise been the case.

Rising Costs

One of the primary risks of short cycling? Rising costs, both in the short- and long-term. For starters, short cycling increases your monthly energy bills, often sharply. For another, the strain we just mentioned on your system will wear it down faster, requiring replacements or repairs far sooner than should be necessary – and this costs you more as well.

Air Filtration Issues

One of the other big negatives with short cycling is the way it prevents air from going through the proper filtration cycle. Some air will reach humans without being filtered at all, lowering air quality and increasing the risk of various respiratory or other health issues.

Temperature Variation Concerns

When your AC is too large and is spewing aggressive amounts of air into your system, this often leads to major variations in temperature across different parts of the home. One room might be freezing cold while another is far too warm, or vice versa. The right equipment, on the other hand, will go through a proper cooling cycle that involves evenly heating every room.


Finally, this same effect can lead to humidity issues. Many don’t realize it, but the HVAC system helps even out humidity levels through its standard airflow – but a system that’s short cycling won’t provide this air flow, often leading to certain rooms that are too humid and become uncomfortable. These rooms may also harbor mold growth or musty, foul odors.

For more on the value of installing a properly-sized AC system in your home, or to learn about any of our HVAC or plumbing services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.