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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Your AC Has Limits! Know What It Can Do

frozen-acHot weather continues through September and into October, and air conditioning systems that have put in work since the start of summer are now at a higher danger of a breakdown. Enough stress can accumulate on even the best-maintained AC to lead to a malfunction.

We want to help you avoid a late-season air conditioning repair in Delaware. Our technicians are ready to help you with 24/7 repairs whenever your AC begins to fail. (Never hesitate to call. Delaying air conditioning repairs because fall weather is coming soon is a poor plan that can lead to worse problems.) To help you take the pressure off your cooling system, we’re going to talk about the limitations of what your air conditioner can do. Pushing your AC over these limits is a fast way to have a broken AC.

Air Conditioners Lower Indoor Temperature by 20°F Max

The standard residential air conditioner can lower the indoor temperature of a home by a maximum of 20°F. If the outdoor temperature is 90°F, the coolest the AC can make the inside of the house is 70°F. This is a raw figure that doesn’t take account of other factors in a home, such as how much heat gain occurs through the walls, so a well-insulated home will have an easier time staying cool.

Regardless of the conditions of your house, aim to set the thermostat no lower than 20°F below the outdoor temperature. This means you’ll rarely need to set the thermostat lower than 70°F. And since most people are comfortable at the mid-70s, you probably shouldn’t set the thermostat this low. The recommended energy-saving temperature during the day is 78°F.

If you set the thermostat to a point the air conditioner cannot reach, you’ll force the system to run and run and run. It’s attempting to reach am impossible level of cooling. This wastes power, leading to high bills, but it also increases the mechanical strain on the AC’s component. This can create malfunctions like burnt-out motors or a worn-down compressor. Although the thermostat in your home can probably be lowered to 60°F, there’s almost never a good reason to set it this low!

Why Air Conditioners Have These Limits

Isn’t it possible for air conditioning manufacturers to build ACs with more cooling capacity? Yes—you see this level of cooling all the time in freezers. But for cooling a large space such as a home, a greater than 20°F capacity is inefficient and leads to discomfort. An AC that can lower the temperature more than 20°F must send out frigid air, and this means people near the vents will be extremely cold. An AC cannot evenly distribute comfort to a house when it’s sending out air this cold. Considering the amount of electricity necessary to achieve this amount of cooling, it’s also enormously wasteful.

Keep a watch on how you set your thermostat, not only in the late season but any time of the year. The AC’s limits benefit your household, and if you stay within them, you’ll experience fewer air conditioner malfunctions and give the system a longer service life.

Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. has provided over 25 years of quality service. Schedule any AC repair you need with us today.

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