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A-1 Mechanical Blog

How to Set Your AC During Extreme Heat

Extreme heat is an issue that’s becoming more common in Michigan. In fact, we just experienced record-high temperatures and it’s not even summer. These heat waves are occurring earlier in the season and happen more often. 

When unusually high temperatures are in the forecast, homeowners want to know: “What temperature should I set my AC at during extreme heat?” The simple answer is you should set it at the highest temperature that you’re comfortable with. But there’s more to it than that.

It’s also important to seriously ask yourself how well your AC has performed when temperatures have skyrocketed. You can’t afford to be without your air conditioning system during a heat wave. Let’s take a look at some things to consider so you can hopefully avoid an interruption in service during record-high temperatures.

How Reliable Is Your AC?

As a homeowner, you should have a fairly good idea of how reliable your AC is, especially if your AC is older. An AC system that has been maintained regularly is supposed to last 10-15 years. If your AC is past the 10-year mark, that’s when its performance can suddenly decline. 

We mentioned the importance of tune-ups so, did you schedule AC maintenance this year? This is absolutely the most important thing you can do to make sure your AC sails you safely through a heat wave, especially if it’s been a few years since you had it done. 

During maintenance, our NATE-certified technicians check every component of your system. We’ll test everything and make sure it’s working at peak efficiency. Tune-ups are also an opportunity to catch even the smallest problem to keep it from becoming a bigger issue later on–like during a heat wave. 

It’s also essential for homeowners to change the filter regularly every 1-3 months during the cooling season. Keeping the air filter clean means keeping your AC’s inner working parts clean which is key to helping it run efficiently.

What Temperature Should I Set My AC at During Extreme Heat? 

Overall, an AC system can reasonably achieve up to a 20-degree difference between the outside and the inside air. So when it’s 85° F outside, your AC shouldn’t have a problem reaching 75° F.  

However, if it’s 100° F outside, expecting your AC to be able to reach a temperature in the 70s is unreasonable. Setting your thermostat at a temperature that’s lower than this 20° difference will be incredibly taxing to your system and could possibly result in your AC overheating and breaking down completely. A period of extreme heat isn’t the time to set your AC to 68°F. 

During a heat wave, it’s generally recommended that you set your AC between 78°F and 80°F. Or, just try and raise the thermostat to the highest temperature that your family finds comfortable. Be sure to use other methods to keep your home cool such as closing all the blinds and curtains, using your ceiling fans, and avoiding using major appliances.

Contact A-1 Mechanical Heating & Cooling for your next AC repair or maintenance in Lansing, MI. Comfort and Character You Can Depend On!

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