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Family-Owned and Locally-Operated in West Houston

Family-Owned and Locally-Operated in West Houston


Cool Care Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

How Not to Push Your AC Over Its Limits This Summer


We’re looking at another scorching summer this year, with July and August days in the 90s. You can expect your air conditioning system to earn its keep and then some as it works through the days cooling your household to comfortable levels.

But we want to caution you about your air conditioning system’s limits. If your AC was professionally installed, it will be the right size to provide even cooling to the house through most days—but that doesn’t mean it’s invincible! In this post we’ll help you understand how to ease up enough on your air conditioning system that it will make it through the summer without overheating and breaking down.

Reminder: This Will All Be Easier With Maintenance!

Before we go any further, we want to remind you of the importance of air conditioning maintenance. Scheduling time for our professionals to inspect and tune-up your AC is the best way to ensure it can handle whatever heat the summer throws at it. You’ll have fewer worries about pushing it over its limits when it’s had maintenance through our program. It’s still early in summer and not too late for this vital task.

Setting the Thermostat

If you look at the thermostat for your house, you’ll see that it has a lowest setting or 60° or 65°F. But just because you can set the thermostat that low doesn’t mean you should. And you probably shouldn’t. These temperatures are too cold for most people’s comfort, and they also risk creating trouble for an AC. The air conditioner doesn’t produce faster cooling at a higher volume when the thermostat is set that low—it simply runs longer until reaching that setting, which it might not even be able to do (as we’ll explain in a moment). Such low temperatures put the air conditioner at the risk of overheating and the evaporator coil freezing over. 

We recommend (as does the Department of Energy) that you set the thermostat to 78°F during the day when people are home. This will not only prevent the AC from excessive strain, it will help save energy and slow down the rate that heat enters the home. If 78°F feels too warm, lower the setting to around 72°F and raise it by one degree a day until you find a comfortable, higher setting. 

The 20° Limit

This is an important limit to keep in mind: your AC can at most lower the indoor temperature of your home by 20°. This is called the air conditioner’s temperature differential. If you try to make the AC lower the temperature by more than this, the system will run continuously trying to reach the unreachable. This is why 78°F is a good setting for the thermostat: it can handle hot days up to 98°F without pushing the AC over its limits.

We’re Always Here to Help! 

If you do run into trouble with your AC—and no amount of caution can prevent all malfunctions—we’re here to assist with quality air conditioning service in Houston, TX that will get your cool home back. We offer same-day service and a 100% guarantee—in writing! 

Call on Cool Care Heating and Air Conditioning for “The Best Care for Your Air.”

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