I was watching Channel 4 News this morning (because that is my life), and of course, there is hardly ever any positive news on the news. It’s the same old political stuff and the same old crime stuff and the same old, same old, blah, blah! However, one of the better segments, and I think we all can agree on it, is the weather. On the TV we have our local weather man issuing out prognostications. He tells us things with only one thing in mind; helping us prepare for the days to come. That’s awesome, right? What a guy! Now, this isn’t a post about how awesome the weatherman is, no. It is however a point. That point is the weatherman here recently has, unfortunately for our power bills, been rather correct in his predictions for us. He has told us, with great certainty that it is going to be hot. That’s right folks. It is going to be a hot one. And not just a hot, “one.” It is going to be a hot “one” for a few months.
Now, since this is a blog about heating and air I guess it would be in you, the reader’s best interest to tie these points all together. So lets do that:
So your Air Conditioner was not made to operate during extremes. Face that fact. It was made to function within certain parameters. And within those parameters we can consider this range “normal.” Normal can be defined in many ways. We can say normal is 82-88 degrees during the summer. Anything below normal is ok. This is not a big deal. However, when we get on the high side of normal your air conditioner starts to operate on the high side of what it is capable of.
In layman’s terms, or Jeremy’s terms, if it is 98 degrees outside you should not expect too much from your unit. Expect your unit to keep the edge off. Also, don’t have a panic attack because it is not keeping up. You will know if you have a legitimate problem.
I have had several calls about AC units “not being able to keep up,” with demands. Whereas the thermostat is set to 68 and it is 70 in the house at 6 o’clock during the day. Got it. Reference the above paragraph.
I have had several calls about ductwork sweating. This could be associated with the fact that your unit is constantly fighting the good fight against humidity laden hot air and its cold ductwork interior. These combinations result in sweating. Granted, if we are damaging sheetrock, by all means, call. But if your ductwork is in a crawlspace, you can almost count on a little sweating.
I have had calls about units not cutting off. Well, turn your thermostat up! Your AC unit will not produce any colder of air if you turn it down as far as it will go. It’s a fact. It won’t. 55 degrees on the thermostat does not mean the air coming out will be any colder than if it were on 68 degrees.
There are things you can do however to fight the good fight against summer. You ready?
-Turn your thermostat up a couple degrees. This seems counter intuitive but be content, especially during the heat of the day. Keeping your thermostat at 75 degrees gives your unit and your power bill a break vs 74 degrees with a constantly running unit and crazy power bill.
-Shade windows on the sunny side of the house. Keep those BTUs out! Also, if you’re doing landscaping, consider planting for the summer. The difference between shade and sun is crazy!
-Cook outside! Seriously. The amount of heat your cooking appliances produce will be the difference between comfort and feeling sticky. Enjoy some grilling. Oh yea, we install gas piping too!
-If you have other heat producing appliance consider using them at night. You may even want to unplug them.
-TVs and lights produce heat, a lot of heat. Be mindful of their contributions to your discomfort. Keep these appliances away from your thermostat too.
-Consider digital thermostats. These allow you to dial in specific temps. Their programmable features allow you to program your AC to come on when you’re there and bump down a little while you’re away. These will save you money, for sure. Check out our web page on NEST thermostats.
-DO REGULAR MAINTENACE at minimum, once a year. For our climate, I recommend 2 times a year. Regular Maintenance will clean out trapped dirt and debris from coils allowing for a more efficient operation.
-Change your return air filters. I mean, if the desire is to have good air flow, preventing the air from flowing would have opposite effect, right? Change ‘em, y’all.
-Install a De-humidifier. We’ve all heard that cliché, “its not the heat, it’s the humidity.” That is true. The more humidity the harder it is for water to evaporate from your skin giving you that sensation of being cool.
-Install thermo blinds or curtains on windows
-Increase insulation in the home
-Paint home a lighter color
-Check attic ventilation
-Take shorter showers
-Move furniture so it is not blocking vents
-Stop breathing so much… JK! Keep breathing normally.
The goal here is to keep the BTUs (heat) out. The battle will be long and hard, but, with this advice, you should be able to mount a respectable defense. We are happy to provide everyone in the Greater Chattanooga and North Georgia Areas with some good advice. If y’all need anything let us know! 706-820-6041