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Avoiding air conditioning issues during heat wave

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) — There are many things to look out for when running an air conditioning unit during the summer months. Sustained maintenance is often necessary.

“When we’re at these kinds of temperatures for extended periods of time, the amount of work that that air conditioner is doing is way more than it’s used to doing,” said Michael Plank, service manager at Tonna Mechanical.

When the air conditioner is overused, serious problems can arise and break down the unit.

“What we see a lot of, is people not changing air filters with the extended run times, we get freeze ups, and the other issue we have is outdoor condensers get plugged up and they’re not taken care of,” said Plank.

“We recommend at least doing an annual maintenance, so when you do get weather like this, you can get that capacity out of the air conditioner and run it at a cooler temperature without freezing it up,” said Tom Haley, co-owner of Haley comfort systems.

Another tip Haley and Plank both mentioned was that your thermostat should be set to a higher temperature than what many people are leaving it at.

“The energy companies out there during times like this would rather see your thermostat up higher as everyone else is pulling on that demand,” said Haley.

“You never want it to be 20 degrees, 30 degrees colder than it is outside, that’s not good for the human body,” said Plank.

And if too many AC units are burning energy at once in a given neighborhood, some utilities have the ability to shut down some units so they don’t overload the system.

“A lot of the air conditioners, residential air conditioners, on the power leg right now, they have interrupters on there where they can cycle them off. And they do it in different quadrants, so they can turn certain air conditioners off while the other ones run,” said Haley.

Haley and Plank also both said usually, thermostats should only be set 15-18 degrees cooler than the outside temperature during the summer months.

Noah Caplan

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