While installing the AC units at home, the homeowners are guided by one important goal – optimize cooling at the minimum cost. In other words, homeowners expect their cooling units to work efficiently throughout the year. However, this is not the case, as the efficiency of the AC units varies from one season to another. In which season do you find your air conditioner to be most efficient? It’s easy to answer — the winter. We all have seen that as the temperature cools down, the cost of air conditioning reduces significantly. But why? To know that, you need to understand a few basic scientific principles and laws of nature.
Two Scientific Facts to Determine Why Summer is Not Good for Your AC
- According to the second law of thermodynamics, heat waves flow from warmer areas to cooler ones. The areas through which heat enters your house are windows, walls, ceilings, and floors. During the summer when the temperature outside gets higher than indoors, heat is going to enter your home, forcing the HVAC units to work harder for keeping the temperature under control.
- The second phenomenon is the byproduct of the second law of thermodynamics – the air conditioners are capable of removing heat faster when it is considerably cooler outdoors. An air conditioner is merely a mechanical device which forces the heat to move from one place to the other. But even then, heat will follow the second law of thermodynamics. So when the external temperature diminishes, it gets more comfortable for the air conditioners to push the warm air outside.
Does Your AC Violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics During the Summer Season?
On the hot days, the indoors are colder than the outdoors. Do air conditioners violate the second law of thermodynamics? No, the heat from the cooler indoor is forced to flow to the warmer outdoor without any violation of the law of thermodynamics. It is here that your HVAC unit’s compressor comes into play. With the help of the refrigerant, it drives the heat in the outward direction. This system allows the heat to flow from a hotter area to a cooler one.
How Winter and Spring Help Increasing the Efficiency of the HVAC?
With the turn of autumn, the weather becomes cooler. With falling temperature, the workload on the refrigerant decreases. And thus, your AC works more efficiently in spring and winter. During this time of the year, the compressor uses less energy, making the efficiency gain better than ever.
To put it in a nutshell, an AC is going to work harder when the difference between the outside and inside temperature is significantly higher. When the outside temperature is too high, and you turn the thermostat too low, your unit will work harder to achieve a desired temperature indoor. This practice will eventually affect its efficiency level. So, take a cue from this phenomena and be reasonable while setting your thermostat. This practice will help you cut back on your energy bill. You can use a programmable thermostat, which adjusts the temperature automatically, taking a load off its compressor. The net result? Enhanced efficiency of your AC and a reduced energy bill at the month end. Now that you know how and why the ability of your AC varies according to the season, take lessons from it to save more, and enjoy the comfort. Follow the AC best practices and if you need more advice on this matter, contact us here.