Can Too Cold AC in Your Home Impact Your Summer Cooling?

too cold ACA too cold AC may sound like a good thing on a hot, humid, Indiana summer day. The fact is, however, that unusually low temperatures in air-conditioning components can be a sign of dysfunction that requires the services of a qualified HVAC technician to diagnose.

How Cold Is Too Cold?

Air conditioners are designed to operate within a very specific, limited temperature range. Most AC units can only cool a house to about 20 degrees below the outdoor temperature. For example, on a 90-degree day, you shouldn’t expect your air conditioner to cool the house below 70. A too cold AC setting will cause the AC cooling cycle to run almost continuously, substantially increasing electricity expenses. A too cold AC setting may also eventually permanently damage the AC compressor and other costly components.

Overcooling the Coil

The indoor AC evaporator coil circulates frigid refrigerant that extracts heat from household air. Under proper circumstances, the evaporator coil typically maintains a temperature around 40 degrees. If the coil temperature drops below 32 degrees, however, normal condensation on the coil can quickly turn to ice. Coil icing is typically caused by two potential problems:

  • Low refrigerant. As the refrigerant level drops, the refrigerant temperature initially (and ironically) declines. Layers of frost form on coil surfaces, eventually turning the coil into a solid block of ice. Air circulation through the coil is obstructed, causing the AC to run nonstop, overheating the compressor and eventually triggering a system shutdown. Low refrigerant is usually the result of leakage that requires troubleshooting and repair by a certified technician.
  • Clogged filter. Insufficient warm airflow through the evaporator coil can also make the coil temperature drop excessively, causing ice formation. The most common reason for low airflow is a dirty system air filter. During summer AC operation, the best way to avoid ice on the indoor coil is to replace the system air filter every month.

If you’re noticing symptoms of a too cold AC, contact the service professionals at Paitson Bros. We’re proud to be serving the Terre Haute community since 1922, and we’re looking forward to doing so for the next 100 years.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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