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Is a Bigger Air Conditioner Better?

As we’ve discussed in prior blog posts, an air conditioner too small is problematic. But did you know an air conditioner too big can also be inefficient?

While the role of the air conditioner is to pull latent heat out of an area, it is also designed to simultaneously remove humidity from the area. Because the dehumidification process doesn’t begin until several minutes into the cooling cycle, it is possible that a unit too large will cool the room too quickly, thus the room will be cooled before the humidity can be removed.

What are the effects of too much humidity?

Mold - the extra moisture in the air can lead to mold and mildew build up inside the room or building. Furthermore, people who breathe this mold can have allergy-like responses, as many schools and universities across the nation are beginning to notice. In fact, the Indiana University recently spent over $560,000 cleaning mold from the air handling units in two dorms!

Bugs – bugs love a humid environment. Bed bugs, mosquitos and moths are just a few of the insects that thrive in the humidity.

Electronic issues – the ingress of moisture can cause electronics to short circuit and permanently stop working. While electronics shouldn’t malfunction under normal conditions, abnormally high humidity levels sustained for long periods of time can ruin your devices.

So what’s the solution?

If your home or building is constantly above the 40-50% relative humidity threshold, you may want to call for help. A contractor will be able to calculate the building loads to determine if system size is this issue or if it is something else. Additionally, if you believe your humidity is too high, a dehumidifier can be installed to cope with the issue; conversely, a humidifier can be installed if you believe your humidity levels are too low.

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