Understanding the Limits of Your AC | Peak Home Performance
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We take pride in the quality of the work we perform for our customers when they need air conditioning service. We install the finest AC units and take the time to ensure we do each job correctly so our customers can enjoy uninterrupted cooling with high energy efficiency for many years.

However, even the best air conditioning system ever manufactured still has limits with what it can do for a home. A well-installed AC will provide the cooling your family needs for comfort, but you can push it too far to the point it wastes power and risks wearing down rapidly. Below we’ll look into how much cooling you can expect from your AC and how to make sure you don’t place extra strain on it.

Temperature Differential

The temperature differential of an air conditioning system is the answer to the question “How cool can an air conditioner make my house?” If you look at the settings on a home thermostat, you’ll deduce that an air conditioner cannot go lower than 60°F (or 63°F depending on the thermostat). However, the thermostat doesn’t set the limit for the air conditioner—the air conditioner does, and this is known as its temperature differential.

Temperature differential is how much cooler an AC can make the air that it draws through the return air ducts. The standard temperature differential for a residential air conditioner is 20°F. So your home’s air conditioner can make the house 20°F cooler than the indoor temperature when the AC isn’t running. On a hot day, if the inside of your house is 85°F, then the coolest the AC can make it is 65°F—which is far more than most people need for comfort! The insulation of a house helps, since it slows down the movement of heat from outside so that even if the temperature outdoors is a blistering 100°F, the AC should still be able to lower the indoor temperature to around 78°F, which is the target temperature we recommend for comfort and energy savings.

If your air conditioner was correctly sized and installed for your house, you shouldn’t have trouble getting a comfortable indoor temperature even on the hottest Colorado Springs days.

Beware going below 68°F

Even if a setting on the thermostat of 68°F is still within the temperature differential of your air conditioning system, we don’t advise lowering the thermostat past this when trying to cool the house. This is not only an energy-wasting setting and too cold for most people, it risks causing the AC to freeze over and stop working. Keep the thermostat setting in the 70s and you’ll avoid pushing the air conditioner too far.

If you aren’t getting the cooling you need…

When you find that you have to keep pushing the thermostat lower and lower to receive the cooling you expect from your air conditioner, you probably have a malfunctioning AC or thermostat. Don’t continue to lower the thermostat: instead, call our expert technicians for air conditioning repair in Colorado Springs, CO. We’ll discover why the AC isn’t doing its job and have it fixed.

Peak Home Performance: Guaranteed Comfort and Affordability. Find out how to get two free tune-ups a year and other benefits! Learn more.

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