When I first looked into a central cooling system for my home, I assumed a bigger unit would be better. I have since learned that an oversized air conditioner is just a big mistake. The system cools down the house too quickly and then shuts down. The short cycling puts excessive strain on components, causes temperature fluctuations and doesn’t allow for enough running time to dehumidify the air. I’d end up paying higher energy bills, frequent repair costs and living with a clammy house. Plus, because the system is turning on and off all the time, it won’t last as long. Bigger air conditioners also cost more to purchase and install. I did some research and learned that the correct way to size an air conditioning system is through a Manual J load calculation. This accurately determines how much cooling the specific house actually needs. It is usually completed with a computer program, but still requires quite a bit of time and effort. This is why many contractors simply rely on the home’s square footage to determine sizing. Square footage fails to factor in insulation levels, window types, the home’s orientation, and occupancy. By doing my homework, I knew the right questions to ask the different HVAC contractors I called for an estimate. I chose an HVAC contractor who not only uses the Manual J load calculation but is factory authorized and offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I spent a bit more for a top-of-the-line model, but am totally happy with the operation of my new central cooling system. My house remains perfectly comfortable, no matter the outside weather, and my monthly energy bills are reasonable.