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Problems Caused by an Improperly Sized HVAC System

When it’s time to install a new HVAC system, many homeowners make the mistake of focusing too much on the price of the unit. Without fair consideration of other factors, you could end up acquiring an incompatible system for your home, either too small or too big. There are a variety of problems to be aware of when selecting a new unit or upgrading your current one to avoid creating a dangerous environment with the wrong HVAC equipment.

Using Too Much Power

An HVAC system that uses too much power is too big for your home. If your home is quick to cool or heats up too quickly, the thermostat powers down because it has reached the desired temperature. However, systems are designed to run for a pre-determined time, so a system that shuts off too quickly due to fast temperature changes has not run its full program. This is known as short-cycling and it greatly increases the wear on your HVAC system. You may think more power is a good thing, but you’ll wind up spending more on repairs and may even have to replace the system earlier than its expected lifespan.

Not Providing Comfort

Power issues on an oversized unit can cause your home to have wider temperature swings and much more humidity. HVAC systems are designed to take 10 to 15 minutes to get cold enough to condense water vapor. In a short cycle, it doesn’t reach that phase and less moisture is removed from the indoor air. Consequently, your home will feel more humid, which also increases the feeling of heat. Conversely, a unit that is too small for your home will experience the opposite problem and cause dryness, which could lead to chronic dry skin and respiratory issues.

Skyrocketing Energy Bills


Image via Flickr by Laura Taylor

If your HVAC unit is too small, it will work harder to meet your desired temperature, thereby using more power. Even though it is using extra power, it may still be too weak to send conditioned air to all areas of your home. Undersized units can cause some rooms in your home to not receive proper cooling, especially when fighting against opposing temperatures, like near windows or where sunlight is abundant.

Decreased Property Value

Potential homebuyers don’t want the expense of upgrading an HVAC unit. If your unit does not run efficiently, it can decrease the value of your property. Even if you aren’t planning on moving soon, choosing the right-sized unit will help when it is time to sell and increase the enjoyment of your home now.

Finding the right size HVAC equipment includes reviewing the size of your home, number of windows and doors, how many people can comfortably live in your home, and installation levels. Determine ideal temperature ranges for inhabitants and discuss your needs with a certified HVAC specialist. New HVAC technology like thermal air conditioning and sensor-based ventilation might be worth considering to help you find the right balance of comfort and efficiency for your entire family.

5 HVAC Repair Prevention Suggestions From A Pro

Commercial air conditioning

When summer turns to autumn or spring turns to summer, you need your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to be ready for the weather changes. The right indoor temperature and humidity levels help keep your family healthy and comfortable. An unexpected problem could lead to a health emergency when the weather is extremely hot or cold. These five tips are designed to prevent Fort Collins HVAC emergencies and keep your family safe and comfortable all year long.

Clean Around Your HVAC Equipment

Furnaces, air exchanging units and air blowers inside of your home need plenty of airflow. Keep boxes, storage bins and other items at least 2 feet away from the HVAC equipment. The outdoor compressor unit of a heat pump or air conditioner also needs to maintain airflow. Keep shrubs, grass, flowers and tree branches pruned to at least 2 feet away from the unit. Routinely clean the lint and dirt away from the air intake and outgoing air vents in each room. Arrange for professional air duct cleaning every three to five years.

Listen for Unusual Sounds

HVAC systems make certain sounds when they turn on, perform a cycle and turn off. Listen to the sounds the system makes during its typical operations. For example, the air conditioner might click on, followed by whooshing sounds from the air blower and humming of the fan on the outdoor unit. You may hear another whoosh as the refrigerant completes its cycle and a click when the cycle ends. When you recognize the usual sounds, you will know when the unit makes an atypical sound. If you hear a funny sound from the HVAC unit, call for a repair. Fixing it early could avoid an emergency later.

Keep Up With HVAC Maintenance

HVAC systems need regular maintenance performed by a professional technician. These maintenance visits include an inspection of the entire system. The techs also clean the fan, motor and electronics. Techs change air filters and conduct a system performance test. Routine maintenance also ensures that the system operates efficiently. Schedule service for the heating season and the cooling season.

Avoid Fiddling With the Thermostat

Fiddling with the thermostat stresses the HVAC system. It has to work harder when you make a lot of temperature adjustments. Find a comfortable temperature and leave it. Consider a programmable thermostat. You can input a schedule for morning, daytime, evening and overnight for 24/7 comfort. Keep lamps, TVs and other heat-generating electronics away from the thermostat. They could make the thermostat cycle the air conditioner when it is not necessary.

Check Your Electrical System

Furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners use electricity. A tripped circuit breaker or turned-off burner switch could make the HVAC unit stop working. The burner switch is typically located on the outside of the furnace. It cuts power to the unit without the need to access the circuit breaker.

Regularly cleaning and maintaining your HVAC system can prevent many emergency situations and the need for urgent repairs. Sometimes, a simple check of the power switch or circuit breaker solves your problem. Scheduling a routine semi-annual service visit could also reduce the risk of an emergency HVAC repair. These tips will save you money, keep your family comfortable and keep them safe during the frigid winter months and steamy summertime heat. For emergency HVAC service in Northern Colorado, visit