New Construction HVAC Contractor in Lithia Springs
Designing & Installing HVAC Systems for New Homes in Douglas & Cobb Counties
Before the first brick is laid or the first wall raised, you have already established whether your new home will be comfortable, energy efficient and a safe environment for your family. Done properly, you will have efficient equipment and the correct quality and quantity of air flow delivered to every inch of your home. Ronald Smith Heating & Air has over 35 years of proven success in the new construction industry.
Here’s what you need to know in order to make an informed decision about the heating and cooling going into your home:
First let’s get a few acronyms out of the way. A unit of energy is commonly referred to or defined in terms of British Thermal Units, or BTU’s. Another common term used to define the systems that maintain a home’s living space temperature is Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning, or HVAC.
For every 12,000 BTU’s needed to maintain your home’s indoor temperature, you need 1 ton of air conditioning (AC). So, if you live in a home that has one AC unit that is 5 tons, then theoretically an HVAC professional calculated that your home needed 60,000 BTU’s to maintain comfort. The million-dollar question is whether that professional took the time to really calculate the load, or did they simply use a rule of thumb approach. Worse yet, did they upsize your unit by one or even two tons to give you some “extra capacity” to ensure you would be able to stay cool. Since every ton more typically costs about $1500, extra capacity equals extra profit.
A study done by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the largest utility provider found that 53% of air conditioning units examined were a full ton oversized. So, over half the time the HVAC professional put in too much and the buyer paid for it. The cost factor is one problem, but it is more than that. When AC units are oversized, they run in shorter cycles, as it doesn’t take as long for the unit to cool the home until the thermostat turns the unit back off. This is known as Short Cycling.
The problem with short cycle times is that one of the primary jobs of the AC unit is to dehumidify the home. Air conditioners are very inefficient when they first start operation. It is far better for the air conditioner to run longer cycles than shorter ones. The efficiency of the typical air conditioner increases the longer it runs. The ability of the air conditioner to remove moisture (latent capacity) is lowest at the beginning of the air conditioner cycle. The moisture removed from the indoor air is dependent upon the indoor coil temperature being below the dew-point temperature of the air. The moisture then wets the indoor coil and, should the unit run long enough, will begin to flow off the coil and be removed out of the condensate drain.
For short cycles, the coil does not have time to operate at the low temperature and when the unit stops, the moisture on the coil evaporates back into the indoor air. Thus, in humid climates, a properly sized air conditioner will do a far better job of removing moisture from the air than oversized units. An oversized air conditioner cannot remove enough moisture from the air and a home can become cold and clammy.
In addition, mold needs water to grow. Humidity provides water in the air and the more humidity you have in a home the more mold can prosper. When a home is over 65% relative humidity or above mold has an environment to grow. As the humidity rises the environment only improves for mold growth. So, not having an AC unit run for longer cycles is more than just about energy or comfort. It’s also about health.
In just the last 10 years the increases in the building codes alone have stepped up minimum efficiency ratings of AC units by 30%. Add to this the emphasis in the marketplace and the tax credits for programs like Energy Star, and the problem only grows further, unless those builders and HVAC contractors are keeping up with their expertise on how to size their equipment.
A little knowledge goes a long way. If you are considering building a new home, ask the right questions. It isn’t just about how pretty the finish is. If you are going to make one of the largest investments of your life, shouldn’t it be more than just pretty?
Many times in our lives, we have to rely on professionals to make decisions that will impact us into the foreseeable future. This is one of those times. At Ronald Smith Heating & Air, our highly trained management team will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your new building project goes smoothly and is a success. We will work with you to design, suggest, and incorporate the best system for your new home.
If you are looking for an experienced, professional HVAC contractor to help you make the best choices with your building project, please contact us at (770) 766-9212 or schedule your service online today!