NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The heat is on, and your air conditioning is probably turned up.
One Middle Tennessee AC company wants to make sure you are taking the necessary steps to avoid a broken unit and keep the cool air running.

Technicians at Donelson Air said at a time when temperatures are on the rise, many homeowners are turning up the AC. However, it may be harder to get your home to your desired setting amid the intense weather.

“What we feel as heat, especially in Tennessee and all over the South, really comes in terms of humidity, not actual temperature,” said Nathan Fort, the operations manager at Donelson Air. “It could be that you have some humidity issues in your basement or your crawl space that can actually make muggy temperatures still feel muggy or even hot. Whereas if the humidity is a little bit lower, it feels more crisp. So, depending upon where the humidity level is in your house, that can also affect where your temperature is going to be.”

There are things you can do to be proactive so you can keep from damaging your unit:

  • Make sure to check your filter; if it’s dirty, your unit could be running longer and harder.
  • Clean your indoor and outdoor coils.
  • Inspect drains near your home to avoid AC leaks.
  • If you’re going to leave your house, don’t make a large change to the temperature setting.

“At the end of the day, it is actually best for the system to pick a temperature and let it maintain that. If you let it get hot and then try to cool it down really fast, you’re going to overwork it and you’re really not going to save a whole lot of energy, because it has to pull the humidity out before the temperature goes down. You’re looking at roughly 35 to 45 minutes per degree,” said Fort.

Fort recommends only changing the temperature when you leave the house by one or two degrees and leaving all of the doors inside of your home open so the air can circulate, and your unit won’t have to work harder.

“To a certain extent, it is better to leave doors a little bit open. Allow all the air to mix because especially in most homes throughout the South, they only have one or two points of return where the air is being taken back to the system. If the air from everywhere else isn’t allowed to flow, then you’re going to get some hot spots and some cold spots,” said Fort.

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