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How Much Can Your Air Conditioner Cool: Realistic Temperature Differences Between Inside and Outside Air

We tend to think that we can set our air conditioning thermostats to whatever temperature we desire and have the air conditioner do its job no matter what.  However, this is not the case:  there is a limit to how much an air conditioner can realistically cool when comparing temperature differences between inside and outside air.  Atlanta Air Authority is an air conditioning company that understands the various limits of AC systems and can prevent you from needlessly running your air conditioner too much on the hottest days.

Temperature Differences between Inside and Outside Air

Generally speaking an air conditioning system is designed to accommodate up to a 20 degree difference between the outside air and inside air while still keeping around a 55% humidity level which is comfortable.  This means that it is 80 outside your AC can easily reach 70 degrees, since that is only a 10 degree temperature difference.  So even if it is 90 degrees out your air conditioner should still easily reach the 70 degree mark.  However, if it is 100 degrees outside, it will be nearly impossible to reach 70 degrees inside without the air conditioner working completely overtime and causing problems such as excess humidity.

If you have your air conditioner set to a temperature that makes that differential more than twenty degrees you will likely run your AC all day long and still not quite reach those desired temperatures.  This becomes a waste of money on your end by overusing a system that was not designed to accommodate what you are trying to do.

A good rule of thumb is during the hottest days when the dial reaches 100 degrees it is best to set your AC to somewhere between 75 and 80 degrees.  You can also supplement that slight temperature difference with closed curtains on sunny side of the building, running ceiling fans and portable fans in rooms which people are present, and keeping a tall glass of ice water on-hand.  Additionally, make certain that your AC is properly maintained in order to eliminate the possibility of losing efficiency and money through items which could have been easily fixed like replacing dirty filters and cleaning coils.

If you leave your doors open for extended periods of time and the temperature rises in your home the typical rule of thumb for cooling is 1 degree per hour or two depending on your home’s layout, insulation, and thermostat placement. So give the system time to work. Central air conditioning isn’t the same as automotive or point of service air conditioners, it takes time for the system to catch up with the demands of the thermostat.

The skilled air conditioning technicians at Atlanta Air Authority can help ensure that your air conditioner is working as efficiently as possible with an AC maintenance check-up and can help you get your thermometer set to appropriate levels that will keep you cool while saving you money.

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