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Thinking Like Goldilocks when Installing a New Air Conditioner


When teaching people about air conditioning, it sometimes helps to turn to unusual sources. I could pull out my dog-eared (heh) copy of Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning 19th Edition to help explain how important it is to have the right-sized air conditioner installed in your home. But I’d rather use this old copy of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, because I discovered that Goldilocks can teach the same lesson just as well!

Goldilocks and the Three Air Conditioning Systems

If you’re considering installing a new air conditioner this spring to prepare for the summer, you have to make sure that you don’t have a system that’s too large for your home. “But wait,” you might be thinking, “isn’t it better to have a system that’s too large rather than too small?”

Well, first of all, you should never have a system that’s too anything. If you can get it just right, you should go for that! After all, Goldilocks didn’t settle for the porridge that was too hot or too cold. Or the bed that was too soft or too hard. That girl knew what quality was, and she picked the porridge that was just right and the bed that was just right. That’s how you should think when it comes to installing your air conditioning system! #ThinkLikeGoldilocks

But to address the specific question about going too large: an air conditioner that’s too powerful for the space it’s supposed to cool is a major problem because it triggers something called short-cycling. This is when the AC produces too much cooling so that it registers that it finished the job already and shuts down before it should. Then it turns back on a short time later, only to turn off again… and over and over. This makes the air conditioner waste power and run down rapidly. It doesn’t help with cooling either, since the system won’t stay on long enough to get the cool air sent all around the house.

How do I find that perfect “Goldilocks” air conditioner?

This is the easy part… for you, at least. You just need to call on HVAC professionals! They can do something called a heat load calculation for your house that will determine exactly how much cooling a new air conditioner needs to produce in order to maintain comfort. The professionals will then know what size unit to install: not too big, not too small, but just right.

MK Russell & Abbott offers great air conditioning installation service in Maryville and Knoxville, TN.