What You Can Do to Decrease the AC Strain on Your Unit

AC StrainSummertime and the living is easy — except, that is, for the AC strain that impacts cooling components. In downright dog-day conditions, the compressor in a central air conditioner may run up to 20 hours per day to maintain a comfortable indoor thermostat setting. Carrying that heavy cooling load not only means higher monthly utility costs, it means added wear and tear on expensive, critical parts and may even trigger a system shutdown, usually at the worst possible time.

It’s a natural fact of physics: When summer comes on strong, heat gain infiltrates the cooler indoor environment. To compensate, your air conditioner runs increasingly longer cycles, potentially causing AC strain. However, there are certain steps you can take to minimize AC strain, reduce operating costs, and protect your cooling system.

  • Change the air filter monthly. Reduced airflow through the system due to a clogged, dirty filter stresses the AC compressor, fan, and other parts. Install a new filter monthly to support adequate cooling as well as to reduce wear and tear on vital air-conditioner components.
  • Identify and seal air leaks. Check for worn weatherstripping around doors and windows that allow outdoor heat infiltration. Replace with new material.
  • Keep attic heat in the attic. Attic temperatures may reach 150 degrees or more during a summer heat wave. Keep it out of living spaces below by making sure the amount of attic insulation is adequate and intact.
  • Block out the sun. Close drapes or blinds during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Move air economically. Run energy-efficient ceiling fans. They make rooms feel several degrees cooler and help reduce some of the AC’s cooling burden.
  • Set the thermostat higher when the house is empty. Set the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees higher during hours when nobody’s home (don’t forget indoor pets). Program temperature settings so the house is back to comfortably cool when you return.

The experts at Paitson Bros. have suggestions to minimize AC strain, and we deliver a prompt, professional response if your system needs service. We’ve helped keep Terre Haute cool and comfortable in every Indiana summer since 1922.

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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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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

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