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Advice from an Expert: It’s Triple Digits Outside – Is My Air Conditioning Working the Way it Should?

If your air conditioning doesn’t feel like it’s working at peak efficiency when the temperature exceeds 108 degrees, that’s because it’s not. Seriously.

Residential and commercial air conditioning units have a design point of 108 degrees. Design point refers to the optimal performance (cooling capacity) of the system at peak efficiency. 

Historically, even in Arizona, the amount of time an AC unit spent above the design point has been relatively low. But now that time is increasing, both in frequency and for longer periods of time. In 2020, Arizona had 144 days of 100 degrees or higher temperatures.

That’s why, when it’s more than 108 degrees out, your house may start to feel warmer than normal.

So, what can you do? 

First, make sure your AC is ready to run at peak capacity this summer so it can work as hard as possible to keep your home or office cool. The way to do this is through regular maintenance, which most manufacturer warranties require anyway in the spring and the fall. 

For example, during our maintenance service one of the things we check is proper refrigerant charge. If you’re off by even a few ounces you won’t get maximum cooling from your AC unit. The good news is that even if you skipped spring maintenance this year, we still have two months of hot weather left, so it’s not too late. (And if you have one of our maintenance plans, your twice-annual maintenance service is free.)

Second, change your air filters monthly to maintain good air flow and filtration. We recommend inexpensive, moderate or medium MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value) filters, which are just standard, pleated filters. You can even spray them with furniture polish to add more stickiness, which attracts and retains dust and dirt particles.  Allowing the system to breathe better helps cooling performance.

I hope this clarifies some facts about your air condition system. Like any machine, with regular maintenance your AC system will have a great chance for a long, long life … even when it’s triple digits outside.

Any questions, call us at 480-718-7209.

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