Air conditioning is a welcome relief during the sweltering summer months. It transforms your home into a comfortable oasis where you can escape the relentless heat. However, you should know about the dangers of running your AC too cold, which homeowners often overlook. Let’s go over these potential hazards and how to prevent them so you can maintain optimal AC performance all summer long.
If you encounter any of the air conditioner troubles outlined below or have other concerns, don’t hesitate to contact First Call Heating & Cooling at 503-231-3311. We provide outstanding air conditioning service in Portland, OR.
The Dangers of Running Your AC Too Cold
Air conditioners have a mechanical limit on how much they can change the indoor temperature, known as the temperature differential. A typical residential AC system has a temperature differential of 20 degrees. This means your air conditioner is only designed to keep the house 20 degrees cooler than it is outside. Here’s what can happen if you crank up the AC significantly farther than this:
- Increased energy costs: Setting the temperature too low makes your cooling system work harder. This strain leads to higher energy consumption, which is reflected in your electricity bills. Therefore, a chilly home today could mean a hefty bill at the end of the month.
- Reduced AC lifespan: The strain of maintaining an overly cold indoor temperature doesn’t end with costly energy bills. The increased workload causes wear and tear on the AC unit’s components, potentially leading to overheating and more frequent breakdowns. This increases your repair costs and may even shorten your AC unit’s lifespan, forcing you to replace it years sooner than expected.
- Performance issues: The goal when cranking up the AC is to cool your house more effectively, but an overworked air conditioner can freeze up if you set the temperature too low. The refrigerant moving through the evaporator coil needs a chance to take a break, or it can freeze, preventing the AC from cooling your home at all. If left unchecked, a frozen air conditioner could result in expensive repairs or a complete system replacement.
- Health risks: Low temperatures can cause condensation in the air ducts and moisture buildup on the air filter, providing a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Exposure to these pathogens could aggravate your allergies or cause respiratory infections, posing a serious health hazard to you and your family.
How to Prevent Running Your AC Too Cold
The best way to avoid these issues is to manage your AC properly. Here are some tips to keep your air conditioner running optimally this summer:
- Set a reasonable temperature: HVAC professionals strongly recommend never setting the thermostat lower than 68 degrees in the summer. To balance comfort and energy efficiency, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees when you’re at home and awake. To help you stay comfortable at this temperature, dress for the season and run the ceiling fan to create a wind chill effect.
- Don’t close too many vents: While closing the vents in unused rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so can cause an imbalance of return and supply air. This makes your AC unit work harder, leading to overheating or system damage. Set a rule to keep at least 80 percent of your vents open and unobstructed at all times to avoid this.
- Keep the filter clean: The HVAC air filter is crucial for optimal AC performance. A dirty filter hinders airflow and overworks the air conditioning unit. Replace the filter regularly to maintain efficient operation and prevent strain on the system.
- Regular maintenance: Routine HVAC maintenance is the best way to ensure your AC runs smoothly. This involves checking and cleaning various components, detecting potential problems, and performing any necessary repairs. If you need expert air conditioning service, First Call Heating & Cooling is just a phone call away.
Schedule Air Conditioning Service in Portland, OR
Cranking up the air conditioner during a heat wave might seem like the right solution. However, the dangers are considerable, including increased energy costs, reduced AC lifespan, performance issues, and health risks. That’s why it’s best to set your thermostat to 78 degrees, keep your air vents open, replace the filter regularly, and schedule routine maintenance to keep your AC in top working order.
With a history dating back to 1939, First Call Heating & Cooling is a name you can trust for air conditioning service in Portland. We even offer 24/7 emergency repairs to promote your comfort and satisfaction. For help addressing your air conditioning concerns, please call us at 503-231-3311. We’re here to ensure your round-the-clock comfort.