PNW Heat Wave
Unusually hot weather is coming to the Tacoma area this weekend and it is going to be putting stress on you and your A/C system. Since we do not experience these extreme heat waves often, we feel that it is important to share with you what to expect from your A/C unit in the coming days and how you can prepare to keep yourself and your family cool.
Here in western Washington, our A/C units are not designed for 100 degree weather. An A/C unit is sized to be most efficient in the normal high summer temperatures in the area. In the Tacoma area, a normal high temperature is in the high 80’s to low 90’s, so A/C units are optimized for those temperatures. Most of the A/C units in this area are designed to cool to a maximum of 20 degrees lower than the outside temperature. During most of the summer, 20 degrees is more than enough to bring your home to a comfortable temperature, but during these heat waves, your A/C might have trouble keeping up. While it may feel as if your system is broken when it is not cooling to your desired temperature, the truth is if it hits 100 degrees outside and your home is cooled to 80 degrees or below – it’s doing its job. We understand that this is not what you are wanting to hear, but remember that this abnormal heat wave will pass, and we will be back to comfortable temperatures soon.
While we cannot control the temperature outside, there are several ways to help keep your home cool:
- Keep your doors, windows and blinds closed during the day
- Run the dishwasher or do laundry in the late evening or early morning when outside temperatures are cooler
- Grill outside instead of turning on the stove or oven inside
- Set your thermostat to cooling first thing in the morning, and select a higher set point so that your A/C unit gets a break
- Change your air filter so your A/C doesn’t have to work too hard to push air through
- Cut back shrubs or debris around your outdoor unit
- Spray down outdoor unit with a hose
- Keep all vents open so that air dispenses evenly without too much pressure
We hope that these tips help you prepare for the warm weather ahead!