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How to Set Your AC During a Heat Wave


We’ve experienced some intense heat waves lately that might have challenged your HVAC system in Colorado Springs. How well does your AC perform when temperatures skyrocket and it’s under duress? You can’t afford to have your AC break down during a heat wave. Let’s look at things you can do to hopefully avoid that from happening.

When unusually high temperatures strike, a common question we get from homeowners is, “What temperature should I set my AC at during a heat wave?” In a nutshell, the answer is you should set it at the highest temperature that you’re comfortable with, but we’ll answer this in more detail below.

Just How Dependable Is Your AC?

It’s worth the time to think about the answer to this question because an AC breakdown is something no one wants to experience, let alone on the hottest day of the year. Not to mention heat waves are when we’re most busy!

So here are some things you should consider when thinking about your AC’s performance. Did you get AC maintenance this year? This is the most important thing you should have done if it’s been a while since you had an AC tune-up.

That’s because our technicians will thoroughly check out your AC. We’ll test everything and make sure it’s working at peak performance levels. We’ll also perform preventative maintenance, catching things that have the potential to become problems later. 

The other thing you can do is change the air filter regularly. We recommend you change it every 1–3 months during the cooling season. Keeping the air filter free and clear of dust, dirt, and debris means keeping your AC’s inner working parts clean. That’s the key to a well-functioning machine.

Lastly, make sure the outdoor unit is clear and clean. The outdoor condenser is where the AC releases the heat it pulls out of the indoor air. It needs good airflow to do its job well. Make sure there’s nothing surrounding the condenser including plant growth. If it’s dirty, you can hose it off gently. 

What Temperature Should I Set My AC at During a Heatwave?

A heat wave isn’t the time to try and beat the heat by setting your AC to 68°F. In fact, doing so could possibly cause it to overheat. We recommend setting your AC between 78°F and 80°F. Or, just try and raise the thermostat to the highest temperature that your family finds comfortable. 

There are other things you can do to try and beat the heat. Here are some suggestions.

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated 
  • Wear light clothing
  • Use ceiling fans and/or floor fans
  • Keep all the shades/curtains closed
  • Consider sleeping in a lower-level room such as the living room couch
  • Avoid using major heat-generating appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers/dryers
  • Take cold showers or baths to keep cool when you feel overheated

Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning serves Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Contact us when you need help with your AC.

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