Is your air conditioning system ready for the next heat wave? Heat waves are common in the Southeast. Defined as a period of extreme heat lasting for two more consecutive days, they cause more than just discomfort; heat waves can stress air conditioning systems. By understanding how heat waves affect air conditioning systems, you can perform the necessary preventative maintenance to stay cool during extreme heat.
Longer Cooling Cycles
During a heat wave, your air conditioning system will likely experience longer cooling cycles. A cooling cycle is simply a period for which your air conditioning system runs. It begins when your air conditioning system initially turns on, and the cooling cycle ends when your air conditioning system turns off.
A heat wave will typically cause longer cooling cycles. Your air conditioning system will have to run for a longer period to achieve a comfortable temperature.
A heat wave will strain your air conditioning system’s compressor. To cool your home, your air conditioning system uses refrigerant. Refrigerant will absorb heat from your home’s interior. The compressor will then compress the refrigerant so that it becomes even hotter. The hotter the refrigerant, the more heat it will release, which is essentially how air conditioning systems work.
Extreme heat, though, will strain your air conditioning system’s compressor. The oil inside of it may overheat, resulting in friction-related damage. Compressors contain oil to lubricate their moving parts. While the oil can withstand some level of heat, excessive heat may degrade or dissipate it. And without oil, your air conditioning system’s compressor will be susceptible to friction-related damage.
Your air conditioning system will produce more condensation during a heat wave. Air conditioning condensation is affected by two things: indoor humidity and cooling power.
Humidity is moisture vapor in the air. During a heat wave, your home will typically become more humid. Your air conditioning system will also work overtime as it tries to cool your home. With high indoor humidity and high cooling power, your air conditioning system will produce more condensation. It will extract more moisture vapor out of the indoor air at the evaporator coil.
If you’re worried about an upcoming heat wave taking a toll on your air conditioning system, schedule an appointment for an inspection. A professional inspection will give you peace of mind knowing that your air conditioning system is ready for the next heat wave.