Your air conditioning in Alpharetta, GA has certain limitations, and in this post we’re going to look at the factors that affect it. If you have an AC that won’t cool your home down to comfortable levels, we can help get the unit repaired, or in some cases, replaced.
Understanding Cooling Capacity
Cooling capacity is the amount of heat that an air conditioner will pump out of your house over a specific period. Cooling capacity is measured in units called BTUs (British Thermal Units), which are grouped into units of 12,000 BTUs known as tons. Most central air conditioners are between 2–8 tons, and an air conditioner must be accurately sized to match the home’s cooling needs.
Understanding Temperature Differential
This is different from cooling capacity: rather than the amount of heat the AC can remove from the air over time, it’s the temperature change the AC can make; i.e. how many degrees lower the air conditioner can make the indoor air. Unlike cooling capacity, this is fairly universal—an AC that is the proper size for a house can make the indoor air 20°F cooler. So if the outdoor heat has made the inside of your house 85°F, the air conditioner can lower it down to a maximum of 65°F. That’s still cooler than you’ll really need it. The best energy-saving setting is 78°F, which means you can get the house that cool if the indoor temperature starts at a blistering 98°F.
In other words, you’re in pretty good shape if you’ve got the right-sized AC in your house. As long as it’s operating correctly, you can enjoy the comfort you need.
Factors Affecting the Coolness Level
There are several other factors that will affect the cooling level.
The Unit Size
We already mentioned that an air conditioner must be correctly sized for a home so it has the proper cooling tonnage. If the unit is too small, it will never be able to lower the temperature enough because it won’t be able to remove sufficient heat. An oversized AC will remove heat too fast, causing the unit to shut down early, then turn back on again. This causes enormous wear and tear on the unit that will lead to an early replacement.
The hotter it is outside, the more work an AC must do. What’s key to know here is that the closer the indoor temperature is to the outdoor temperature, the slower the indoors of the house gains heat. This is why raising the thermostat to the highest level is a good idea. It’s less work for the AC and your house doesn’t get too hot too fast.
Insulation and Home Efficiency
The level of insulation in your home directly affects how well your AC can cool the indoor space. Since your AC is limited to lowering the indoor temperature by 20°F, the less heat that gets indoors in the first place, the less work for the AC. With good insulation and air sealing, a 100°F day will be easier for the air conditioner to deal with because the indoors won’t be that hot to start.