When it gets hot outside, you immediately feel the effects. In extreme heat, you have to change your behavior by drinking more water, staying inside more, letting your car cool down before you hit the road, and more.
When it comes to extreme heat, you’re not the only one affected. Your air conditioner feels the effects of extreme heat as well, resulting in different responses that you may or may not notice. To give you greater insight into your HVAC system, here is a basic guide from Brothers Plumbing Air Conditioning to the effects of extreme heat on your air conditioner.
Even the most efficient of air conditioners will have to run for longer periods when the weather gets extremely hot. As warm air enters your home through small cracks and gaps, the temperature in your home will rise. Then, in order to maintain the temperature, you have selected on the thermostat, your air conditioner will have to kick into action.
Rather than cooling the air in your home, your air conditioner lowers the temperature of the air by removing heat by absorbing it into the refrigerant. Therefore, the more heat that enters your home between run cycles, the longer and more frequently your air conditioner will have to run to remove the heat that has accumulated.
Of course, an air conditioner that runs frequently or for long periods of time could also be an indication of a compressor that’s too large or too small. It’s a good idea to have Brothers Plumbing Air Conditioning inspect your compressor to ensure its properly sized for the interior volume of your home.
Air conditioners rely on the second law of thermodynamics at both the indoor and outdoor units. As a high-school physics refresher, the second law of thermodynamics states that energy will flow from an area of greater concentration to an area of lower concentration. In other words, heat will flow from an area of higher heat to an area of the lower heat.
At the indoor unit, as mentioned, heat from your home is absorbed into the cold refrigerant. As that refrigerant moves outside, it comes to your compressor. Your compressor is responsible for taking the refrigerant with the stored heat and placing it under pressure, causing the temperature of the refrigerant to rise even further.
Once the refrigerant leaves the compressor, it is at a temperature that is higher than the surrounding air, which allows the heat to dissipate into the atmosphere before the refrigerant is cooled again and returned inside.
As you can imagine, then, the hotter the outside air is, the harder your compressor has to work to ensure that the heat in the refrigerant is able to dissipate properly. Therefore, another effect of hot weather on your air conditioner is that your compressor has to work harder than normal. As one of the core components of your air conditioner, it’s crucial to have your compressor and its surrounding components inspected by Brothers Plumbing Air Conditioning to ensure they’re ready for the hottest days.
Another scientific principle that your air conditioner relies on to keep your home cool is the changing states of matter. Specifically, your air conditioner relies on the condensation of moisture that’s in its gaseous form when it touches a cold surface. Your evaporator coil, the long labyrinth of tubes that sit just above your blower fan, helps to remove humidity from the air as the warm, humid indoor air is blown over it.
Because the cold refrigerant remains in this area for an extended period, it lowers the temperature of the metal pipe that it’s in. Then, just like a cold glass on a hot day, the moisture in your home’s air condenses on these cold pipes, allowing it to collect in the condensate tray and then drain away from your home. This leads to another effect of hot weather on your air conditioner.
As the air gets warmer, its capacity to hold moisture increases. Though we don’t deal with humidity too much here in Peoria, even small amounts of humidity can make hot days absolutely unbearable. Therefore, as the temperature rises, you can expect your air conditioner to do more work when it comes to removing humidity.
To help with this task, we at Brothers Plumbing Air Conditioning recommend that you keep your condensate drain line clean. Otherwise, it could overflow, resulting in a messy and potentially dangerous condition in your utility closet or basement.
Watch That Refrigerant
If you’d read this far, you’ve probably noticed one crucial thread that helps your air conditioner do what it does. That common thread is your air conditioner’s refrigerant. In order to do its job, the refrigerant in your air conditioner has to be able to absorb a lot of heat and then to dissipate that heat in an efficient manner. As the temperature increases, the heat-absorbing capacity of your refrigerant will be pushed to its limit, meaning the refrigerant has to be ready for the task.
One speed bump to this process is if your system is low on refrigerant. In a perfect world, none of the refrigerants in your air conditioner will ever leak. However, as time passes, small gaps around joints begin to form, as well as microscopic cracks in the refrigerant line.
Since the refrigerant exists as gas for at least part of its journey around your air conditioner’s components, it is very easy for it to escape through these small holes. Over time, this can reduce the pressure of the refrigerant, leading to less efficient cooling.
Another problem you may face is specific to older air conditioners. Older air conditioners use an older type of refrigerant known as R-22. For years, this refrigerant was the gold standard in transferring heat from your home to the outdoors. However, a new refrigerant known as R-410A is now the only refrigerant that is used.
The good news is that this new refrigerant is even more efficient at removing heat from your home. The bad news is that if you have the old refrigerant, it could limit your air conditioner’s ability to cool your home. The best way to use this new refrigerant is to have a new air conditioner installed by Brothers Plumbing Air Conditioning.
Speed and Precision
If your air conditioner is going to fail, it often does it at the least opportune time when the temperature is highest. When this happens, it’s important to have a company that can respond quickly to help restore your home’s comfort. At Brothers Plumbing Air Conditioning, we employ several experienced technicians to limit the amount of time it takes for us to arrive at your home.
This standard of service applies to every customer, regardless of the type of service you need. Therefore, whether you need some repairs on your air conditioner or furnace or you need to take advantage of one of our plumbing services such as drain cleaning, water heater replacement, or sewer repair, you can be sure we’ll arrive quickly to help you get your life back to normal.
We strive to do all that we do with integrity because it’s how we want to be treated. This commitment to integrity is why we charge a flat rate for our services instead of hourly rates. This commitment has also earned us an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, providing the confidence you need to move forward with your home repairs.
Of course, this exceptional service has garnered multiple five-star reviews that you can read for yourself on our website and social media channels. If you want an HVAC company you can trust to keep your Peoria, AZ, home comfortable, give us a call at Brothers Plumbing Air Conditioning today.