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How the Heat Affects Your Air Conditioner

Does Outside Temperature Affect Air Conditioners?

When summer temperatures become extreme your air conditioning system might begin to experience problems. Most air conditioning systems are designed to function with outside temperatures of 100 degrees or less. When temperatures outside become higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the air conditioning system can consume more energy and begin to malfunction or fail.

When outside temperatures become 95 degrees or higher, your air conditioning system will run at its maximum capacity. When this happens, temperatures inside your home will remain about 78 to 80 degrees. Lowering your thermostat will not improve the effectiveness of your air conditioner. In fact, lowering the thermostat will cause your air conditioning system to work even harder without actually being able to change the temperature inside your home.

When outside temperatures soar everyone in an area begins to lower their thermostats in an attempt to cool their homes. The increase in energy usage can cause power grids to overload, leading to widespread power outages. Additionally, the constant use of your air conditioning system can cause your utility bills to be fifty percent higher during periods of extreme heat. To avoid power outages and higher utility bills during the summer, set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home and 82 degrees when you are away.

Hot summer temperatures can lead to many problems with your air conditioning unit including:

  • When the air conditioning is running constantly, air filters become clogged faster than normal
  • The fan on the exterior unit accumulates debris much quicker
  • The air conditioning system must work harder in order to effectively cool your home

During extreme weather conditions it is extremely important to replace the air filters on your air conditioning system at least once a month. When the unit is turned off, exterior fans should be cleaned periodically with a long handled brush. To help lower Freon temperatures in the unit, aim a lawn sprinkler at the outside unit. This can lower internal temperatures by as much as ten percent. Older air conditioning systems might not survive extreme weather conditions and in order to cool your home, they will consume a lot of energy. If your air conditioning system is twelve years old or older then it might be time to consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.

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