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Old 03-27-2020, 05:44 AM
Choro&Swing Choro&Swing is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Tierra del Sol
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Originally Posted by Love2Swim View Post
We just had ours replaced, it was about 15 years old. We had three estimates - each company told us the same thing, that The Villages undersizes their air conditioners. They each recommended we size up. We did, and notice quite a difference. The house cools down much more quickly. As others have said, your unit is under warranty - get it checked out just to make sure there is not a leak. We had a leak the first year we moved in the house, and they had to replace a lot of the piping outside. They also found one section of ductwork that was never connected, and the cold air was just going into the attic crawl space! They put these homes up in a hurry. Things are not always up to snuff.
Be cautious when a company tells you the air conditioner is undersized. It might be, but it might not. That can be a ploy to get you to buy a new system you may not need. Sometimes a better solution is more insulation in the attic or around the ductwork. (After all, it is HOT in your attic, and some of that heat warms up the air that passes through the ducts.) Sometimes there are actually parts of attics where because of lazy insulators, there is no insulation at all. Closing curtains or sun shades on south or west-facing windows when the sun is shining on them helps to keep a house much cooler. It’s possible that air is leaking into your house through a leaky door or window. Opening windows can let in a lot of humidity, of course. Sometimes a system can cool, but not as quickly as people would like. The good thing about that is that if the air conditioner is running, it keeps pulling water out of the air, so the humidity decreases.

There are several possible problems involved with putting in a larger air conditioner. It costs more to buy, and it may cost more to run, and it may need more work to install and take up more room in your garage. One important point, however, is that a larger unit (more tons of cooling capacity) sometimes cools the house so quickly that the AC shuts off before it has pulled enough humidity out of the air. So you end up with a house that is cool, but too humid, and then that cool air feels clammy. There are attachments that can make that big air conditioner stay on longer and not cool as quickly, but it makes more sense to have the right size than one that is too big.

To get the right size, you need an HVAC contractor who checks the things I mentioned above, probably does a blower door test to see if there are areas of leakage, etc. The size of system you need may be different from the size needed across the street, simply because of where the sun shines. White or light grey shingles soak up a lot less heat than do dark grey or black shingles, and those differences can affect air conditioning needs. It’s complicated. Do it right. A contractor who simply makes an offer without checking these things first and doing the complicated math for sizing the system to your specific needs is one you should worry about. It may not be rocket science, but it’s still science. Also, the building codes have strict rules about HVAC sizing and house air leakage these days. Does your HVAC follow those rules? How would you know? That’s what a code enforcement officer is supposed to do. Is it being done?
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