Commercial buildings require much more intensive HVAC systems than their residential counterparts, thanks to the larger spaces involved and greater numbers of people to keep comfortable. The cooling needs of restaurants tend to be even greater still, thanks to all of the excess heat generated inside of a commercial kitchen, as well as the power needed to keep walk-in refrigerators cool.
For this reason, many restaurant owners decide to err on the safe side and install the most powerful air conditioning system they can find. Unfortunately, this tactic can often result in unanticipated problems. If you would like to learn more about why a correctly-sized HVAC system will be better in the long run, read on. This article will discuss three problems an oversized air conditioner can create.
A good commercial air conditioner is essential in keeping both your customers and your employees comfortable and cool. Believe it or not, an oversized AC can actually make this task harder. This has to do with the system's cycle times. In other words, the average amount of time the air conditioner runs in order to meet a given cooling job.
In this respect, oversized air conditioners are simply too good at their job, resulting in freakishly short cycle times. This can create comfort problems in a number of different ways. For one thing, even the shortest possible cycle time may end up producing too much cold air. This will result in accelerated cooling to levels far below what you intended.
At best, this may lead to awkward swings from frigid to comfortable. At worst, such a sudden influx of cold air may even cause your furnace to kick on, in a desperate attempt to bring your space back up to the desired temperature.
An oversized air conditioner also makes it hard to regulate the temperature from one part of your building to another. In general, the closer a room happens to lie to the air conditioner, the cooler it will be. This temperature gradient can be surprisingly high, with the parts of your building that lie the farthest away from the duct line being many degrees warmer than the rest.
Once again, the problem has to do with the short cycle times produced by an oversized unit. By the time the room containing the thermostat has come down to the desired temperature, your blower unit will have just gotten started distributing the air throughout your building. As a result, conditioned air will simply never make it to those rooms located at the far ends of the duct system.
The problems discussed so far all have to do with comfort. Yet an oversized air conditioner also creates problems when it comes to the quality of your air, especially where moisture is concerned. In short, an oversized air conditioner will result in an increased moisture content in the air of your restaurant. This increases the risk of mold and mildew growth, while also potentially putting wood furniture and other delicate items at risk.
Once again, short cycle times are at the root of the problem. Here those short cycles compromise your air conditioner's ability to fulfill its most important secondary duty: dehumidifying the air. Provided an air conditioner is able to run for long enough, the super cold evaporator coil will cause water vapor passing through the system to condense.
This condensation then funnels out of your building through special drain lines. Short cycle times prevent your air conditioner from running long enough to result in this condensation. The resulting increase in humidity can wreak all kinds of problems if allowed to persist too long.
At the end of the day, an oversized air conditioning system can be just as problematic as an undersized one. For the best results, be sure to have your building load carefully calculated, so that an appropriately sized HVAC system can be selected. For more information about how to cool your commercial property effectively and efficiently, contact the experts at Golden State Commercial Equipment Repair.