WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT EXTREME HEAT AND YOUR AIR CONDITIONER

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As anyone who has lived in Olathe for long already knows, it gets hot this time of year. We’ve already had some scorchers so far this summer, it’s extra hot this week, and it’s only going to get hotter as we move from July into August. For many of us, this means that the air conditioner runs pretty much nonstop, day and night. Sure, we occasionally get a cool day that might allow us to shut off the AC for a while, open the windows, and let the cool morning or evening air flow through the house, but often the humidity prevents us from doing even that.

That’s why, this time of year, we tend to get a lot of questions from Olathe homeowners and businesses alike, asking what extreme heat (and near-constant operation) might be doing to their air conditioner. Below are answers to some of the most common questions we receive, along with links to some of our other articles for further reading.

Should I be concerned if my air conditioner is running constantly? During the hottest months of the year, it would probably be unusual if your air conditioning wasn’t running pretty much non-stop. If it’s not making unusual sounds, you don’t detect anything inside the house that might suggest that there’s something wrong (odd smells, for instance), and you can feel cool air coming out of the vents, then your air conditioner is probably doing its job. Of course, it bears remembering that your air conditioner should be in peak operating condition during the hottest part of the summer. This is only possible if you’re regularly servicing your home HVAC system with the help of an Olathe heating and cooling service professional, even if your system isn’t giving any indication of problems.

What if the ground shifts and my air conditioner is no longer level? Periods of high heat and drought like the ones that have been affecting Olathe can lead to cracks or changes in the elevation of the ground around your home’s foundation, which can also shift the pad upon which your air conditioner unit sits. This can cause some major problems, though fortunately we have some tips on how to help keep things on the level. Why is it a problem if your air conditioner shifts? The compressor that helps your air conditioner run needs to be level to work properly. If it gets off-balance, it can lead to your air conditioner working less efficiently or even damage to the unit.

In the event of a storm, can my air conditioner be damaged by lightning? Yes. If there’s thunder and lightning, we recommend that you turn your air conditioner off until the storm passes. As you know, thunderstorms are common in the Kansas City area during the summer, and power surges caused by lightning strikes or downed power lines can damage an air conditioner that’s still running. We’ve even seen air conditioners taken completely out of operation by power surges. The best thing to do in the event of a storm is to shut off your AC at the thermostat.

What should I do if my air conditioner suddenly stops working? Nobody wants to think about what would happen if their air conditioner suddenly gave up the ghost on the hottest day of the year. It’s unpleasant, and it can even be dangerous to be without air conditioning on a hot summer day in Kansas. If your air conditioner quits working, call your local Olathe heating and cooling service professional right away. Fortunately, we wrote an entire article on this topic, so click here to learn what you should do while you wait for the pros to arrive.

Is it too late to service or replace my air conditioner? No, it’s never too late to service or replace your AC. While the best time to get your HVAC system checked out is before the most extreme weather sets in, the second-best time is right now. Even if your air conditioner has kicked the bucket, a heating and cooling pro like Davenport Service Company in Olathe is always available with emergency service to get a repair in place or even get a new unit up and running right away. The best way to keep your air conditioner (and the rest of your HVAC system) running smoothly is to make sure that it gets seasonal tune-ups at least twice a year. These can help keep everything working as it should and diagnose and address potential problems before they turn into serious issues.

How can I give my air conditioner a break? As we mentioned, your AC unit is going to be working hard this summer, so if you want to give it a little break on days when it’s not so hot outside, there are certainly ways to do it. Getting a little shade on your air conditioner can help to cool down the air around the unit, making it work less hard. Just be sure that whatever is providing the shade is also clear of the sides of the unit so it gets plenty of airflow. It’s also vital that you keep your air filter changed regularly. If filters become clogged, then the air conditioner has to work that much harder to push air through. If you really want to give your air conditioner some time off, you may be able to set the thermostat to run “fan only” for a little while. The temperature in the basement and even the lower floor of your house is usually cooler than the upper floor, and letting the fan circulate that cool air can help keep your house cooled off while also letting your air conditioner rest.

Whether your air conditioner has stopped working and it’s 100 degrees outside or you’d just like to set up a regular maintenance schedule, the Olathe heating and cooling service professionals at Davenport Service Company are here to help. We offer air conditioning service, repair, and replacement when you need it, as well as VIP maintenance program that will help keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape all year long. Just give us a call at 913-441-2222 today!

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