When I think of things that bring me comfort, I would have to say the answer would be no. I truly enjoy and get much comfort from my family, friends, my job. The list could go on. But then I think of those wonderful family dinners. You know like the Thanksgiving Feast, with all its comfort foods, and I can remember a time or two where I was not feeling too comfortable afterwards. But that discomfort is temporary and the memories for years later of being with my friends and familyb not that discomfortb is what I think of.
Unfortunately, Comfort Delivery Problem #3 is not temporary. Well, it doesnb t last forever, but you will be forced to live with it daily for many years. You see, in the world of home or building comfort, Bigger is Usually Not Better. So lets kick off our discussion of Comfort Delivery Problem #3: The Wrong Sized Heating and Cooling Equipment was installed.
Heating and Cooling Equipment is only a portion of a well designed, well installed, well serviced comfort system. Hopefully the discussion about Comfort Delivery Problems #1 and #2 helped to expand how you look at your system. But some things you may not be aware of:
- Many heating and cooling systems are installed without first determining the proper size unit needed for the house.
- Some contractors use simple rules of thumb to size replacement equipment, or worse, they always recommend getting something a little biggerb just in case!
- Some contractors may choose to install a larger system because you report your current system isnb t providing you with proper comfort.
- Sometimes they choose to install the same size equipment that was already in the home, without taking into consideration changes to home since its original construction (and assuming the original installation contractor did their homework back when.)
- Equipment sizing should be based on an evaluation of the homeb s insulation levels, air leakage rate, windows, solar orientation and humidity control needs.
FACT: Oversized equipment causes problems
- Oversized air conditioners and heat pumps do not run long enough to remove moisture from the air. Result: Your home feels damp and muggy.
- A June 1998 Consumer Reports Magazine article cautions about being sold an oversized unit: While an oversized air conditioner may cool a space more rapidlyb &oversized machines might not reduce humidity very well.
- Oversized units also tend to cycle on and off more frequently. This results in:
- Large temperature swings
- More wear on the equipment
Unlike that family feast, if your system isnb t sized properly, there is a good chance it will not work properly for the life of the equipment. If you arenb t comfortable, you will think about it each and every time it runs. In cases where an existing system isnb t providing proper comfort, simply installing a bigger system without diagnosing the cause of the problem will often make matters worse. Fixing the cause of the comfort problem (poor insulation, duct leaks, restricted air flow or excessive house air leaks) is almost always a better solution than installing a bigger heating or cooling system. Whatb s betterb these are a fix it once, little or no maintenance items, unlike that oversized equipment that will experience more frequent break downs (increasing your cost of ownership in both repairs and higher utility bills.)
Nowb &. I am starting to feel uncomfortable. In our next blog, I will address the Solution to Comfort Delivery Problem #3. Stay tuned. Please do not hesitate to contact us at (828) 483-4040, or via our website. We also have some articles on our website at www.comfort-central.com that can help.