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Is Your AC Running All Day (And Still Not Cooling) | Undersized Unit

Home > QRC Blog > Is Your AC Running All Day (And Still Not Cooling) | Undersized Unit

undersized AC unit

Undersized AC units are common in many homes. In some cases, it may be a financial choice because of the lower upfront costs with smaller models. Another reason is that household needs have changed, usually through renovations or by adding more members. Whatever the reason, an undersized AC unit can cause problems during the hot and humid Winston-Salem summers.  

Read on to learn how to size an AC unit to meet demand and find out some common signs that your unit may be too small for your home.

Could Your AC Be Undersized?

When your air conditioner first starts working during the hot summer months, all you care about is that you’re finally getting relief from the heat. However, over time, you may start to notice something isn’t quite right. Here are a few signs of an undersized AC unit. 

Your house never reaches the desired temperature

If your home never cools to the desired temperature set on your thermostat, you likely have an undersized AC system. The outdoor temperature isn’t the only thing contributing to standing heat in your home. Furniture, people, and even walls can increase your home’s internal temperature. Cooling a home is easier and more efficient if the base temperature never varies more than five degrees from the set. An air conditioner takes one hour to decrease the temperature by one degree.

Uneven cooling and some rooms are always hot

Hot spots in your home indicate an inefficient and undersized system. In some cases, you can make adjustments by closing blinds and opening the vents in hot rooms and spaces. However, your system still needs to work extra hard to adequately regulate the temperature in your home. 

Constant AC running without sufficient cooling

When your AC runs constantly but doesn’t cool, it’s a sign of an undersized system. A well-sized AC system should effectively cool your home without running nonstop, even on the hottest days.

Why Undersized ACs Cause Problems

So your AC is too small for your house — at least it offers some relief, right? Unfortunately, beyond poor cooling, an undersized AC causes other problems. 

When your AC isn’t cooling the whole house, humid spots may develop, which offer excellent breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Mold presents serious health concerns and potential remediation costs. 

You may incur high energy bills with an undersized AC system. A constantly running system uses more energy than a properly sized unit, which leads to excess wear and tear and frequent repair costs. The overcompensation and wear shorten the service life, meaning you’ll have to replace it sooner. 

In the end, the cheaper upfront cost of a smaller model can cost you more in day-to-day operation, repair costs, and early replacement. 

Upgrade to the Right Size AC

You’ll immediately notice the difference when you replace your undersized AC with a properly sized unit that meets your needs. The whole-home cooling, the decrease in energy bills, and the quiet that comes with not running your unit 24/7 are sure to make your life a little more comfortable. 

To determine the best size AC unit for your home, consider these factors:

  • House location: A lack of shade trees leaves you without relief from the heat, and many south and west-facing windows increase the temperature in the home.
  • Window quality: Double-pane and triple-pane windows and low-E glass help reduce heat absorption and keep the cool air trapped inside. 
  • Household members: A large household produces more heat just by being in the home. 
  • Duct layout: An efficient duct layout ensures each room gets adequate airflow to cool your home equally throughout.
  • Ceiling pitch and overhead fans: High ceilings can trap hot air. Overhead ceiling fans help move cool air by pushing it down and creating a wind column.
  • Insulation: Insulation and airflow in your attic, crawlspace, and basement can impact your home’s temperature.
  • Square footage: The size of your home in square feet helps determine the best size AC unit for you. 

There’s a lot to consider when choosing an AC replacement for a larger home or undersized unit. For best results, consult with a certified HVAC technician. They have the knowledge and expertise to ensure you get a properly sized unit that meets your needs and budget. 

Choose QRC for Your AC Needs

An undersized AC system works overtime to meet your home’s cooling demands, leading to higher utility bills and frequent repair costs. Replace your system to enjoy a comfortable North Carolina summer. 

QRC HVAC and Refrigeration offers over 50 years of experience helping residents in Winston-Salem and the surrounding area with their heating and cooling needs. Our friendly team of certified technicians has the expertise to tackle your AC issues quickly.

Contact us today to learn more about our AC installation services or to schedule a repair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Certain rooms in my house are always much warmer than others. Is this a sign of an undersized AC?

Inconsistent cooling is a sign of an undersized AC, especially if you’re making every effort to cool the room. Try closing the windows and blinds, opening all ducts and vents, and opening the door for added circulation. 

My AC runs constantly, but doesn’t seem to make a difference. Why is this?

If your AC can’t cool your home, it’s likely too small. Schedule a consultation with one of our technicians to learn more about potential solutions.

Are my energy bills unusually high during the summer? Could an undersized AC be the reason?

An undersized AC works overtime to meet your home’s demands, resulting in increased energy bills. Consider upgrading to a well-sized AC unit to enjoy a comfortable summer.