3 Ways Hot Climates Impact Your Air Conditioner

If you live in a hot climate, you probably rely on your air conditioner more than most. Due to this reliance, a significant amount of strain may be placed on an air conditioning system. Extreme temperatures can cause premature wear on critical parts, increased operating costs, and potentially expensive failures.

Maintaining an air conditioner under these conditions means understanding a bit about how temperature can affect these systems. Keep reading to discover three ways that a hot climate can impact your AC system and what you can do to minimize these effects.

1. Extended Running Times

In cooler regions, a typical homeowner may only need to run their air conditioner a couple months out of the year. In warmer regions, they'll need to run it more often throughout the year. Air conditioners experience little or no wear when not in use, so these extended running times can have a meaningful impact on system lifespan.

The best way to reduce repair costs from extended running time is to stick to a regular maintenance schedule. Always replace your filter at the recommended intervals to minimize wear on your blower motor and compressor. Additionally, you should schedule annual inspections with an HVAC professional to catch and repair any problems before they become severe.

2. Long Cycling

Most residential air conditioning systems operate only when the interior home temperature is higher than the thermostat setpoint. Since most air conditioners cannot reduce interior temperatures by more than about 20 degrees, setting your thermostat too low may cause your system to cycle for much too long. Long cycling can increase wear on components and raise your utility costs for little benefit.

The best way to avoid this situation is to keep your thermostat set no more than 20 degrees below the outside temperatures. If your home is still too warm, you should try to reduce the base interior temperature through other means. Adding reflecting coverings to windows or improving insulation are two options that can keep you cooler and allow your AC to run more efficiently.

3. Electrical Failures

The mechanical components in your air conditioner can weather hot temperatures just fine, but the electrical components may not fare as well. Aging capacitors and circuit boards in the outdoor condenser unit can be susceptible to exceptionally high temperatures. These components can suddenly give out during extended heat periods, especially if they were already old or failing.

You can avoid having these failures catch you by surprise with routine annual inspections. Your contractor should be able to determine if these components are close to the point of failure, allowing you to replace them proactively so that you will not find yourself suffering the heat without the relief of your air conditioner.

Reach out to an air conditioning service for more information.