CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's early August, and it doesn't look like things will be cooling down any time soon.
If your air conditioner isn’t ready for this heat, you may be in trouble.
Temperatures nearing triple digits in South Texas means your air conditioning unit is working extra hard to keep you cool.
This heat is also keeping air conditioner repairmen busy. CCAC's David Mathews said their customer calls for service have increased dramatically since temperatures started heating up.
“With the heat like it is right now, we’re just swamped," he said. "Most of the calls have been either maintenance calls or trouble calls. We got units that are down, they are not working, and we get out there to try and get them going as fast as we can."
The air conditioner typically runs about 2,600 to 2,800 hours a year. And when temperatures reach upwards of 110 degrees, your A/C unit really starts to work hard.
“When it is this hot outside, the unit is running at its max, and it's going to typically run most all of the afternoon and into the night," said Mathews. "The worst thing you can do is come home at 5 o’clock and try to turn your thermostat down 5 or 6 degrees to get it colder in the house because it’s going to take all night to do that."
Mathews says the best way to prevent those minimal fixes is to have regular maintenance checks done every six months.
“If it is time to replace the unit, you don’t want to necessarily just go up in size because bigger is not better when it comes to air conditioning. A bigger unit doesn’t run as long, and it doesn’t pull as much moisture out of the air. It is much less efficient," said Mathews.
Here are the 10 top things for the homeowner to do for their A/C system in the summer.
1. Have the system checked by a licensed professional to make sure it's operating at peak efficiency.
2. Check the filter: Make sure it is clean and you are using a high-quality, high-efficiency filter.
3. Check your drain line and pour a mixture of 1/3 of a cup of vinegar to 2/3 of a cup of water down it to kill algae growth and keep it clean and flowing.
4. Make sure the outside condensing unit is clear of all vegetation and debris is cleared.
5. Rinse the outside coils with water to clean them off and rinse off the salt deposits.
6. Use a programmable thermostat to set your temperature schedule. Only set the temperature no more than 2 degrees warmer than normal while away for the day. The hardest time to cool your house down in the summer is from about 4-10pm. Setting the temperature too high will make the unit work harder to try and cool the house down, and it may not get there until very late at night.
7. Setting your temperature one degree warmer while you are home can save up to 15 percent on your monthly cooling bill.
8. Run ceiling fans in the rooms you are in to help you to feel cooler at a warmer temperature.
9. If it is time to replace your air conditioning equipment, make sure and purchase the proper-size unit. A bigger unit will cost you more on your electric bill than a properly-sized unit. Mathews said
the majority of units in the Corpus Christi area are oversized.