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Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc Blog

Here’s How Much Cooling You Can Get From Your AC

advanced-thermostat-on-hot-day

Have you ever wondered how cold you could make your house using the AC? The thermostat has a lowest setting of 60°F (sometimes 65°F), but if it weren’t for that, is it possible for the air conditioner to put out enough cool air to get your house down to something like the inside of a refrigerator?

You can probably already guess the answer is no. You wouldn’t want it that cold, and the air conditioner must have some limit at which it couldn’t get the house any cooler. But what is that limit? 

We’re going to explain the cooling limitations of your air conditioning in Smyrna in this post. It’s more than trivia: it can help you with setting the best temperature on the thermostat during hotter days to help your AC run with few problems.

First, a word about the thermostat

Before we talk about the cooling limit of your AC, we want to address a misunderstanding about thermostats we often come across. You cannot get a larger cooling capacity or faster cooling for the air conditioner by setting the thermostat lower. The thermostat isn’t like the gas pedal of a car where the more you push it down the more power you get. 

The thermostat is a switch that turns the AC on and off, so when you set it lower, it means the AC will stay on for longer. Lowering the thermostat down to one of its lowest settings won’t deliver better cooling; it may cause the AC to overheat by making it stay on too long. We also recommend not pushing the thermostat lower than 68°F, which can cause the system to freeze up. 

Your AC has a 20° limit

The limitation on your air conditioner’s cooling power is called its temperature differential. This is how much cooler than AC can make the inside of the house compared to the temperature outside. Residential central air conditioning systems have a temperature differential of 20°—they cannot make the house any cooler than 20°F lower than outside temperature. 

Most of the time, at least in our climate, a 20° temperature differential is more than enough. On a 90°F day, you could lower the thermostat to a maximum of 70°F without exceeding the AC’s limits, and this is considered pretty cool for an interior temperature. The recommended daytime temperature for when people are in the house is 78°F: this higher setting helps to slow down heat gain from outside and lower energy bills. This setting is high enough to allow the air conditioner to handle outdoor days up to 98°F, and those rarely happen during our summers. 

Your AC isn’t cooling your house enough

If you’re following our guidelines and keeping the thermostat set within the AC’s limits, but you still aren’t getting enough cooling, then the problem may be a malfunctioning air conditioner or one that’s too small for the house. Call our technicians and they’ll investigate to find the source of the problem and help you get your house cool again. 

At Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. “We take pride in your comfort!” Call us if you need air conditioning service in Delaware or Maryland Eastern Shore.

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