PADUCAH — With scorching temperatures, you might be seeking relief indoors with your air conditioning.
But what happens if your AC can’t keep up? That’s the case for a lot of households right now.
Local HVAC companies are facing an extra busy week ahead.
Abnormally high temperatures like we’re experiencing this week can cause some smaller AC units to work overtime.
Your AC can only cool so much, but with the right maintenance, you can bring down the temperature indoors.
Air conditioning servicing is in high demand at Triangle Heating and Cooling.
Service department manager Ethan Edwards says the phones have been ringing since the business opened Monday morning.
“When it gets hot outside, everybody starts to call in, and it takes a little bit longer for us to get someone out to you,” Edwards says.
Many units couldn’t keep up with the high temperatures through the night.
Edwards says it’s typically because of a dirty condenser.
“The condenser being cleaned is probably the most important thing that can happen. With the heat, parts start warming up, pressures start going up, and things start to break,” says Edwards.
How do you know if it’s dirty? One trick is to check the airflow from your unit.
“Go out to the fan. If it’s blowing straight up, out of it, you’re usually OK. If you start feeling air out to the side of that fan, near the top, that air starts flinging off the side of that blade. That’s telling you it’s probably stopped up,” says Edwards.
Another sign is the difference in temperature between your supply and return air.
“We look for about a 20-degree cool drop between your supply and your return air. A customer could take a thermometer and stick in the vent closest to their unit. And then you would subtract that number from whatever the air going into your return is,” Edwards says.
Regular maintenance in the spring and filter changes can help you avoid an overheated unit.
If your unit is already going out, getting a same day service appointment isn’t guaranteed.
Covering your windows can cool you down some.
“Keep some of that thermal radiation from your windows, heating up your house. It doesn’t help a lot, but it does help,” says Edwards.
If you’re pressed for time, Edwards says you can do it yourself.
Just make sure you turn off the power.
He also recommends looking up tutorials from professionals online to help guide you.
Ceiling fans can also help cool your house.
On average, temperatures decrease by 4 degrees.
Just be sure your fan is rotating in the counterclockwise direction.