The extreme summer heat of Texas can test anyone’s patience. So when you turn to your HVAC for relief from the sweltering heat, it’s nice to know that it can cool you off as much as you desire. Unfortunately, things aren’t always that simple. Air conditioners have cooling limits, which can be frustrating when the outside temperature is in the 90s or higher. As the premier AC repair experts in Plano, TX, we have been in homes where the temperatures weren’t up to the homeowner’s wishes. We understand your frustrations; hence this post explores the cooling limits of air conditioners and what you can do to cool your home further when the AC is at capacity.
How Much Can an Air Conditioner Drop the Temperature in My Home?
Every air conditioner has cooling limits regardless of factors like installation quality, age, and manufacturer. As a rule of thumb, your air conditioner can cool your home to 70-80 degrees when it’s 95 degrees outside.
Your air conditioning system can reduce indoor temperatures by 20 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s true regardless of what type of air conditioner is installed in your home. In most cases, that’s sufficient to enjoy comfort in the house. However, this raw figure may vary depending on other variables, such as insulation. The US Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 78 degrees when the occupants are inside. This setting makes it easier for the air conditioner to manage hot summer days more efficiently.
What Will Happen if I Go Beyond the 20-Degree Limit?
Pushing your air conditioner beyond the 20-degree cooling limit is not wise. The AC will only keep running as it tries and fails to achieve the thermostat setting. The next electric bill will reflect the constant power usage.
Overusing the system will also strain components not designed to accommodate what you want to do. It will shorten the life of your AC since the parts will wear and tear faster. The compressor can burn out, which can prove frustrating when brutal Texas heat waves hit. We know it’s tempting to lower the thermostat as much as possible. However, paying attention to how efficiently you use your system can help avoid unnecessary AC repairs in Plano, TX.
What if I Install a Larger, More Powerful AC?
Installing an air conditioner that’s too big for your home results in short cycling. This is where the AC turns on and off prematurely, making it difficult for the fan to condition the indoor air. Full conditioning requires that the system circulate the air, allowing warm and humid air to travel through the air ducts and get expelled from the house.
A bigger-than-recommended air conditioner will leave your home with cold and humid air and shorten the system’s life expectancy due to the constant on-and-off operation. It’s important to ensure that your air conditioner is properly sized for your home. Our AC repair experts can help calculate the right AC size for your home and comfort needs.
Why Is My AC Not Operating at Peak Cooling Capacity?
Several factors could inhibit performance if your air conditioner is not near the 20-degree cooling capacity. Here are the possible reasons why your AC is not cooling correctly, and when to call an AC repair service.
Clogged air filters
A clogged filter makes it difficult for air to pass through, thus reducing the cooling capacity of your air conditioner. We recommend cleaning every two weeks and replacing the filter every 90 days for optimal performance.
Dirty coils loaded with dust and debris cannot dissipate heat removed from indoor air. This reduces the air conditioner’s efficiency and forces the system to work harder to cool the house. Enlist the help of an AC repair service to clean the condenser coils regularly.
The compressor is the heart of the air conditioner. It compresses the refrigerant and circulates it through the evaporator and condenser coils. If it’s defective, the cooling cycle fails to start, and the AC doesn’t cool your home.
High atmospheric temperature
Sometimes it’s simply so hot outside that the compressor reaches a stage where it stops working completely.
The coolant or refrigerant circulates through the evaporator coils, cooling the air and eventually sending it into the room. If the system has insufficient coolant levels, the AC won’t be able to cool your home. Call an AC repair pro to have the refrigerant refilled.
Improper AC installation
Poorly sized ductwork, improperly calibrated equipment, and other errors during the installation process can be the culprits. These errors can stress the system over time, compromising its cooling efficiency.
Undersized AC unit
An undersized unit is as much of a problem as an oversized AC. It will keep running on the hot summer days but do little to cool your house. The effect will be especially evident in the upstairs rooms.
What Else Can I Do to Keep My House Cool?
Besides calling your local AC repair expert to fix the above issues, there are other steps you can take to cool your house when the air conditioner is operating at capacity.
Strategic use of drapes
Shuttering your drapes or curtains on the east side in the morning and the west side in the evening will help lower the indoor temperatures.
A zoning system in the ductwork ensures that the rooms that need cooling get cooler air, improving the efficiency of your system.
Preventative AC maintenance
They say prevention is the best cure, and this concept also applies to HVAC systems. Preventative maintenance keeps your AC running at optimum capacity and prevents nasty surprises in the middle of a Texas heatwave.
A dehumidifier can regulate the humidity levels in your home, thus improving comfort. You can opt for a whole-home dehumidifier or a room dehumidifier for stubborn rooms like the basement and bathrooms.
Talk to an Air Conditioning Repair Pro
Our AC repair technicians at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas can talk you through the different factors that affect comfort levels in your home. We can also diagnose your system to find out why it’s not keeping your house cool. Contact us today for reliable AC repair in Plano, TX.