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AC Hints for Hot Muggy Weather

Submitted by SterlingBrown on Mon, 07/08/2019 - 11:54
AC Hints for Hot Muggy Weather
This is the time year when it seems like we are doomed to get the very worst kind of hot and muggy weather. If you're worried about what this might do to your electric bill or you're trying to use your air conditioning to no avail, we've got a few hints that may make life just a little more comfortable for you.
Although mostly relevant to window type air conditioning units, you may find some of these hints apply to your central system too, if that's what you have. These can result in better cooling, greater comfort, reduced energy bills, and a faster response from your air conditioning.
The proper size of your air conditioning for the room you intend cool is quite important. The correct size central air conditioning for your home should've been determined during the design process and is out of your control.
Window air conditioning units are rated in British Thermal Units, BTU, and also include the appropriate room size for which they are designed to cool. One common rule of thumb is that you need about 20 BTUs for every square foot of room plus an additional 600 BTUs for each of the occupants. Of course, there are a couple of small catches, the calculation is based on a standard 8 foot high ceiling and if your ceiling is higher than that you will need to add in some additional capacity, plus it also assumes that you keep the doors and windows to the room closed during cooling periods.
You really don't want to purchase an air conditioning unit that is larger than that required because it would tend to run for briefer periods of time and not be nearly as effective in removing humidity from the room. You have no doubt heard the old saying "It isn't the heat, it's the humidity," which, while not being exactly true, isn't too far off the mark. Besides being less effective and efficient at keeping your room cool, an oversized unit is also going to be more expensive to purchase.
Here is a quick overview of how your air conditioning unit performs these miracles of cooling. There are four major elements of an air conditioning unit. An evaporator, the condenser, a compressor, and an expansion valve keeping things heading in the right direction. The system is all interconnected by tubes that carry the refrigerant.
The compressor takes refrigerant, in a gaseous state, and compresses it into a liquid. This liquid is circulated to the evaporator coils where it returns to a gaseous state and absorbs heat from the air as it passes through the evaporator coils. Once again, gaseous refrigerant passes through the expansion valve through the condenser where heat is radiated to the exterior and continues to the compressor where the cycle repeats. This is where one of the side benefits of an air conditioning occurs, as the warm humid air from the room is passed through the evaporator coils and contacts them moisture in the air condenses out on the metal and then drips down to a drip pan and is expelled to the exterior of the house.
From an energy use standpoint, it is better to turn off the unit when you are away from the room for any extended periods of time rather than leaving it on at some predetermined temperature. When you return to the room and turn the AC on don't be tempted to set it at a -40°F it won't cool a bit faster and if you forget to readjust, it will cool the room considerably lower than you had wished.
With central air conditioning in your home consider closing those air registers which serve little used areas of the home this effectively reduces the size of the load on the air conditioning unit.
A couple of final hints, with central air-conditioning or window units keep the filters clean to promote better airflow and use fans to move air around the rooms.
We hope you find this information useful and remember Mid-America inspection service, MAIS, is your best choice for home inspections and home information. Call us at 218-443-3555.
Submitted by SterlingBrown on Mon, 07/08/2019 - 11:54