How Outside Temperature Affects Inside Cooling Ability

cooling abilityThe cooling ability of your air-conditioning system is affected by a number of factors, but certainly, the outside temperature is the primary determinant. In typical summer weather, a central AC will run between 12 and 16 hours per day. As the thermometer climbs into the more severe range, however, the unit may run more than 20 hours a day just to keep the house comfortable. Along with more hours of AC, monthly electricity costs increase, as does wear and tear on air-conditioner components.

Heat Is On the Move

It’s a principle of physics that outdoor heat energy will naturally flow into a cooler indoor environment. Heat gains entry into your house through several ways:

  • Structural leaks. Hot outdoor air seeps into the house through cracks and gaps in the structure and around doors and windows.
  • Solar energy. It’s a major source of heat gain into a house. Heat energy from the sun radiates through the roof, into the attic, and then through ceilings into living spaces.
  • Windows. Sunlight passing through window glass can be the source of nearly half of the home heat gain during daylight hours in hot weather.

Cooling Ability and Indoor Comfort Is Finite

An air conditioner can only move a fixed amount of heat out of the house per hour, depending on the unit’s efficiency rating. Other factors include whether the AC has received annual preventative maintenance as well as more basic upkeep like monthly filter changes. In the best-case scenario, a standard central air conditioner will only be able to reduce the indoor temperature about 20 degrees below the current outdoor temperature.

To get all the cooling ability your AC can provide on the hottest day:

  • Look for structural cracks and leaks that let outdoor heat come indoors. Air-seal leaks with caulking or weatherstripping.
  • Have your attic insulation inspected and confirm that condition and depth meets Department of Energy recommendations.
  •  Close curtains and blinds during daylight hours to reduce sunlight infiltration.

For professional service to ensure maximum AC cooling ability this summer, contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating.

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