Do you have a home that gets hot during the summer? If so, your home probably has an air conditioning system. Air conditioners cool homes by circulating air. They work by forcing cooler air inside and outside of a building and recirculating it to keep it cool. Air conditioners also help protect against heat by removing excess moisture from indoor air. You might not know it, but your air conditioning system could be improving your home’s comfort at the same time. The cooling effect of your AC unit is actually a secondary benefit of having one—but one that can make a big difference when there’s no other way in or out of the house during extreme weather. If you think about it, the cooling effect of your air conditioner isn’t really all that surprising, to begin with. It makes sense that if you add more surfaces to an environment like your house, chances are cooler things will happen as well. That being said, there are still some misconceptions about how an AC unit affects your home’s temperature and humidity levels in different areas throughout the year. Because let’s face it: It doesn’t make much sense when you think about it logically or even emotionally. But is this negative impact on our homes real? Let’s take a look…
What’s the real reason your AC unit is so cold?
There are a handful of reasons your air conditioning unit might leave your home feeling so cold. And while it’s true that your AC unit is designed to keep certain areas of your home cooler than others, there are a few other factors that come into play as well. Obviously, the temperature of your house plays a huge role in how cold your AC unit feels. If your house is feeling especially hot, it’s going to be hard for your air conditioner to keep it cool. Another aspect of your home’s temperature that can affect how cold your air conditioner feels inside your home is the humidity. This might be a little bit less intuitive than the temperature, but it’s a huge factor nonetheless. Humidity is basically the amount of water vapor in the air. Humidity is a factor in your AC unit’s cooling because it causes the air to feel warmer, even though it doesn’t have any water in it. Cool air doesn’t hold water vapor, as well as warm air, does, so the AC unit has a harder time moving it around.
Why is it so humid in your house during the summer?
This might sound a little bit like the previous question, but it’s actually a separate issue. Your air conditioning unit is designed to keep your house cool. But it only does that job when the temperature outside is cooler than the temperature inside. When it’s warm outside, your AC unit is working overtime to keep the inside temperature lower. That means there’s less energy to cool the air inside. Humid air means there’s less moisture in it to be cooled by your AC unit, too. This can leave your house feeling a lot warmer than it otherwise would. Add to all of this that your AC unit is likely fighting against the humidity levels inside your house as well. All of this adds up to one big mess.
How air conditioning can make you cooler in the summer
If you want to keep your AC unit from making you any colder than it needs to be in the winter, there are some steps you can take to keep yourself cool during the summer. Drink plenty of water – Keeping hydrated is super important when it comes to cooling down. You can get drenched in only a few minutes in water that’s 98°F. Keeping yourself properly hydrated, especially before you feel thirsty, can help you avoid bothering your AC unit by keeping you properly hydrated and less likely to experience heat exhaustion. Exercise in the heat – If you don’t believe that exercising in the heat is a good idea, you’re missing out on a key way to stay cool. The human body was designed to keep cool. When you exercise in the heat, you increase the amount of sweat your body produces. By removing some of that sweat from your body, you’re cooling your AC unit by a few degrees. Keep your home well-ventilated – If your home is well-ventilated, it will be less likely to keep you from feeling comfortable. Well-ventilated rooms have less of a tendency to trap heat inside. If possible, keep your home from feeling too hot.
How air conditioning can make you warmer in the winter
The opposite is also true. When it’s warm outside, your air conditioner is actually working harder than usual to keep the interior of your home cool. These are just a few of the ways your air conditioner can make you warmer in the winter. Some of the factors are outside air temperature, humidity, wind patterns, and the region your home is in. Polar vortexes, cold fronts, heat waves, and other extreme weather events can push heating systems to their limit and make it difficult for your air conditioner to keep up. If you live in a cold region, it can be hard for your AC unit to bring in enough cold air to keep your home from feeling too warm.
A Final Word
It’s important to remember that your air conditioner is designed to make your home a bit cooler during the summer and a bit warmer during the winter. Sometimes it just has a hard time keeping up with the weather. Other times there might be some other complications that make it even harder for it to cool or warm your home adequately. If you notice your AC unit is feeling particularly cold or warm, or if it’s taking a long time to do so, make sure to ask your technician to take a look. And if you have any other questions about the cooling effect of your air conditioner, feel free to ask us in the comments below.