Summer HVAC expectations in Austin, Texas
We have received several requests about AC's not cooling to desired temps and wanted to post this resource so you can better understand how your A/C operates as the temperatures in Austin, Texas rise.
There is a limit to how much your AC can realistically cool when comparing temperature differences between inside and outside air. The systems will not cool your house to more than about 18-20 degrees below the outside temperature; especially when it is 100+ degrees outside. This is true with new systems as well as old because there are many factors involved such as insulation values, number of stories, shade around the unit, location of the inside unit, etc.
An AC works by capturing the heat from inside and releasing it outside. When the air around the unit outside is unusually hot it cannot release the heat efficiently, so it will not cool as much as you want it to. If the system is working at night and all except the hottest part of the day then it is working as well is it can. There is simply a limit to the amount of heat that can be displaced when the outside temps are extreme.
If this applies to you please do not submit a maintenance request since there is nothing that can be done. If we end up sending someone out and it turns out the system is working fine we will have to pass the cost of that visit on to you. We don't like doing that, so this email is to prevent that from occurring and to help you understand why it cannot be 70 degrees inside when it is 100+ outside.
A/C calls are not considered emergencies per the standard lease, however, we understand and try to get someone out as quickly as possible. Our HVAC vendor is generally available the same day or next day, which is determined by their call load when the request comes in. If the office determines the need we can arrange to temporarily provide a portable unit so at least one room can be kept cool until the repair can be made. This is something we do as a courtesy and is limited by the number of units available at any given time. We do not deliver the portable units, rather we'll arrange for pickup when necessary. Please note that the portable will be required to be brought back within 2 days of your regular AC repair being completed.
For AC service requests please CALL our office (512) 617-6766 immediately and put in a work order request online. We kindly ask that you do this as soon as the issue is apparent. If after hours, you can engage the emergency line so they put things in motion, however, there is no guarantee you will get service the same day.
If your A/C is blowing warm air, not cooling down, or not turning on at all, please shut off the entire unit and notify the office immediately. The technicians can NOT work on units that are frozen, so the longer it is thawing out the better.
Here are some A/C tips and reminders to keep in mind:
- A/C filters need to be changed regulary
- Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Each degree lower increases your energy use by 6% to 8%.
- Set your AC to 85 degrees while you are away from your home for more than two hours. Turning your AC completely off will delay your home cooling down when you return and put more stress on the system.
- Leave all interior doors open to promote circulation throughout the cooled space. Do not close vents in unused rooms. This could increase pressure and cause duct leaks.
- Your thermostat has two different settings. One is for the Air Conditioning/Heat. The other is for the fan with the option of Auto or On. Please leave the fan on Auto position, not On position.
- Fans are a great help in circulating air to cool your home. Be sure to utilize the ceiling fans where available, and be sure your fan is set in the option to blow air down, not up. If your ceiling fan is not blowing the air down, please turn off your fan, and after the blades stop spinning move the switch on the ceiling fan base to make the blades rotate in the other direction.
- Fans are only useful when someone is there to benefit from it. They can make the air feel about 4 degrees cooler, but if no one is near it then they should be left off since the motors produce heat and increase utility bills.