Why is My AC Not Cooling Properly When the Temperature is in the High 90’s?


Every year, as soon as the outside temperature gets in the high 90’s we are flooded with calls from homeowners who believe their systems are not working because they aren’t cooling like they are accustomed to and not cooling down in the heat of the day. The first thing you should know is that your system is not designed for extreme temperatures. A/C systems are designed for an average temperature here in Florida. Your system is also designed to cool a maximum of 20° below the outside air temperature while keeping around a 55% humidity level. This means, if it is 80 outside, your A/C can easily reach 70 degrees, since there’s only a 10° temperature difference. Even if it is 90° out your air conditioner should still easily reach the 70° mark. If it is in the high 90s outside, it will be nearly impossible to reach 70. When the outdoor temperature approaches 100 degrees or above, you will likely be doing good too cool to 80°. While it may seem as if your system is not working, it is doing all it can do during extreme temperatures.

Many people at this point will ask why their systems are not designed for higher temperatures. The short answer is you can’t design a system to operate efficiently in the extreme heat and work well in the average temperatures. A larger, more powerful A/C is not the solution as when cooling during the rest of the year it does something called short cycling. It will turn on and off prematurely, which does not allow the fan to truly condition the air. For full conditioning to take place, the unit needs to circulate the air so that the warm, humid air has a chance to travel through the system to dehumidify.

A bigger than recommended system will cool your home too fast and will leave you with a cold jungle (cool air and high humidity). It will also lead to shorter life expectancy from your A/C due to its constant operation. The system would be the right size for the home only a portion of the year.

One option you have is to install a dehumidifier inline with your central A/C. A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air and keeps the air in your home at the proper humidity levels. During the summer high humidity is a big part of what makes you feel uncomfortable. High humidity means there is a greater than normal amount of moisture in the air. Removing moisture will make it cooler and alleviate the job your A/C unit has to do.

Give us a call today at 941-755-5555 to talk about getting a dehumidifier installed in your home.

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