The Truth About Air Conditioners

Article written by Century A/C Supply; Published in HAA's Abode Magazine, 1998

Most air conditioning systems are designed to remove enough moisture, humidity, and heat from a room to make it comfortable. This indoor room temperature should average about 20 degrees below the outdoor ambient temperature. This number is based on many important factors such as insulation, size of windows, height of ceiling, and other elements. What does this mean? If the outdoor temperature is are cases when the room will get colder if the above factors are perfect, but most apartments are built without all the energy saving add-ons that are built with most homes.

There is no way around a hot summer and lowering the thermostat will not help to make it any colder. Turning the thermostat below 70 degrees will sometimes cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. When this happens, no air is removed from the room and it usually takes a few hours for the coil to defrost. During these hours, more heat is absorbed into the room and it takes that much longer to try and cool the room down. Turning a thermostat completely off is similar to the coil being frozen. Furniture, drapes, and carpet all act as insulators and hold heat in. When a coil is frozen, or a thermostat turned off, heat builds up in a room and it can take many hours to remove the heat and make the room comfortable again.

The best results are achieved by setting the thermostat between 76 and 80 degrees during the hot part of the day and 74 to 78 during the evening hours. We are having an unusually hot summer this year and lots of the apartment units in Dallas were built during the late 70's and early 80's. They are not very energy efficient and we are limited as to what we can do to make it feel colder. Small fans can help to circulate air and usually operate on a small amount of energy. By circulating the air, the unit is not going to have to work as hard and it will feel much more comfortable in the room.