Tony Kocurek, SMACNA President
Excessive heat and higher-than-normal temperatures have been intensifying for much of the United States.
In fact, June 2023 and July 2023 broke global temperature records, increasing worries that these warming patterns could continue. Currently, climate scientists say 2023 will likely be the warmest year on record. July alone is the world’s hottest month on record.
You can blame a combination of summer weather, a warmer atmosphere and seasonal weather patterns like El Nino for the heat.
When heat rises, so do the use of air conditioning systems. As such, educating your customers during these extremes can help them more efficiently use these units to keep cool and stave off the heat.
These machines are designed by engineers and installers to keep temperatures approximately 20 degrees cooler than the outdoor temperatures. Newer systems are designed for 95-degree days, depending on location. But with 100-degree-plus temperatures becoming the norm for summers in some regions, that can be taxing on air conditioning systems when they run non-stop to keep up with the heat.
An air conditioning system uses a cold, low-pressure refrigerant to evaporate and absorb heat from a room, and then compress it before condensing and releasing the heat through an outdoor heat exchanger. Finally, the refrigerant is recycled in a closed loop. The higher the outdoor temperature, the more the compressor works and the more electricity you use.
To be more efficient and save energy, customers might think they should turn off cooling at night and turn it back on in the morning.
This strategy is not more effective. By turning off a unit at night, a customer forces it to work harder and longer to cool a space the next day.
Your goal is to encourage customers to set thermostats to desired, comfortable temperatures and leave them alone. Starting the day with an already cool space helps the cooling unit work better.
Also, encourage regular maintenance, such as replacing air conditioning system filters and cleaning filters and coils on outdoor heat exchangers to encourage good air flow. Customers can also run ceiling fans and shade the interior of their homes from direct sun with shades to promote coolness.
For those customers with older units, upgrading to high-efficiency models may help reduce energy use.
Being helpful to customers by providing full descriptions of services and options, as well as these additional tips during extremes, can also help you retain clients and build loyalty.