Here’s Why Size Matters When You Buy an Air Conditioner

It’s always when hot summers are almost upon us that people start buying new air conditioners or having their existing ones serviced. This is to be expected. It even makes sense. But when you’re scrambling to get the next available unit, there’s a high chance of buying the wrong one. Contrary to what you might think, you can’t just buy whatever air conditioner is available. It has to be the right size to work well for your space.

It might be more beneficial to buy an air conditioner during off-seasons. First of all, you won’t have to worry about competing with the rest of the panic buyers. Second, you can take all the time to do your research and find a suitable unit.  It’s best to buy it before or months in advance of the hot season. That way, when the heat rolls around, all you have to do is turn your unit on and enjoy the cool air.

Here’s why size matters when it comes to air conditioners:

Undersized Air Conditioner

An undersized AC will be underpowered. If you buy something small for, let’s say, a living room, you have no hope of cooling that room within a few hours. At the very least, it might take a day and tremendous effort from the machine to get the space to be somewhat cool. Your AC will be forced to work longer and harder for minimal benefit. 

When you buy an AC that’s too small for your space, expect that you’ll be replacing it by next summer or within the season. An overworked AC will also be a burden on your energy costs. The resulting atmosphere will be somewhat cool at best. It can be uncomfortably moist and slightly sticky at worst.

Oversized Air Conditioner

This is a problem that is a little less commonly known among homeowners. While you might think “the bigger, the better,” this isn’t the case for air conditioners. If an air conditioner is too large for its installed space, it will behave very inefficiently. This is because the optimal AC efficiency happens through continued operation and regular cooling cycles.

An oversized air conditioner might not seem like a problem at first. After all, if an undersized AC presents energy and efficiency problems, surely something bigger will be better. The thinking is that it will use less energy and cool the home faster. Unfortunately, this is not the case. 

For an AC to function properly, it needs to operate continuously on regular cooling cycles. An oversized unit will cool a room too quickly before a cooling cycle can be completed. This can lead to short cycling. The air conditioner shuts down the cooling cycle too early, only to start back up later. In the long run, this can damage the unit. 

Like with the undersized AC, the best thing you can do when you buy the wrong sized air conditioner is replace it. 


It’s essential to consider several things before you buy an air conditioner. The size of the unit you’ll buy will depend on how large the space you will put it in. A larger area needs a big air conditioner with enough power behind it. A smaller space can do with something less powerful. Choosing the right size will ensure that your AC doesn’t die on you early on. Keep your home nice and cool by getting the size right.

If you’re looking for air conditioning services in the areas of Short Hills, Millburn, Summit, and Chatham, New Jersey, we’re just the right people to help you. Air 1 LLC is a full-service heating and air conditioning company. Our main priority is to help put you in your comfort zone. With our years of experience and expertise, you can count on us to make the air just right inside your home. Request a free estimate of our services today and contact us if you have any questions. 


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