Air conditioning systems work best when they’re not operating in extreme heat — but this is often unavoidable during the summer season. In today’s post, local furnace and air conditioning company Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning takes a look at how the summer heat affects your air conditioner’s performance.
How Does Heat Affect Air Conditioners?
To better explain how heat affects air conditioners, let’s first discuss how air conditioners work. Air conditioners generate cool air by putting a chemical called a refrigerant through various stages of compression. In its supercooled state, it is passed through metal tubes in the air conditioner’s indoor unit, where two things happen: one, air is blown past the metal tubes, producing cool air. Two, the still-cool refrigerant absorbs heat from the room. This heat is transported to the condenser unit located outdoors, where the heat is dispersed through radiator coils.
Releasing hot air into an already-hot environment is not as easy, which means the air conditioner now has to work extra hard to release the heat. Environmental factors such as high humidity may also hinder your AC from releasing heat. The increased strain can result in higher energy bills, as well as unexpected breakdowns that may lead to appointments with an air conditioning repair contractor.
Optimizing Your Air Conditioner
Controlling the weather is, of course, impossible. However, there are a few things that you can do to optimize your air conditioner and alleviate some of the strain.
- Put your air conditioner in the shade. If your air conditioner is exposed to direct sunlight, putting it under some shade can help keep the outdoor enclosure a few degrees cooler. You can build a simple shed over the unit to keep it in the shade (and protect it from hailstones and airborne debris), but make sure that it doesn’t block maintenance access to the top of the unit.
- Maintain airflow around the outdoor unit. Good airflow will help the outdoor unit vent heat more efficiently. Make sure that the outdoor unit’s sides are not blocked by plants, debris or other objects in the yard. If you are building a shed for your AC, make sure there is sufficient airflow around the sides.
- Keep your air conditioner clean. Keeping up with scheduled care and maintenance can do wonders for your air conditioner. Debris may make its way into the outdoor enclosure. Dust and dirt accumulate on the condenser coils and the aluminum cooling fins, both of which can hinder airflow within the unit. Have your AC cleaned or, better yet, schedule a tune-up with your HVAC contractor before or during the summer season.
Call Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning for Your HVAC Needs
Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning provides HVAC services, including AC cleaning and check, to customers in Bartlett and the surrounding communities in West Chicago. Give us a call at (630) 372-7640 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.