July 15, 2019

My A/C won’t keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day.

It’s 95 degrees outside, and you can’t get your indoor temperature to go below 75 degrees—even with your thermostat set on 72 degrees. It seems as if the AC can’t keep up. First thing you might think; okay, let’s get a larger AC to keep perfectly cool when summer temperatures hit above 93 degrees. However, when the temperature outside is above 93 degrees, an oversized AC is not the solution to keep you more comfortable. First of all, an oversized unit is more expensive! It also has a shorter lifespan, doesn’t regulate humidity effectively, and will generate higher utility bills.

Here is why over-sized—is not right-sized.

  • An oversized unit will short-cycle; that is, cool your home fast then shut off—over and over again—and decline from overuse faster than a properly sized unit.
  • Due to short-cycling, an oversized unit will not run long enough to remove humidity from indoor air effectively. The higher humidity will make you feel hotter and more uncomfortable.
  • You’ll feel hot and uncomfortable because of the increased humidity and keep cranking the AC—and your utility bill. It’s an uncomfortable cycle!

Redefining comfort on a HOT day.

Comfort on an atypically hot summer day is not going to be an indoor temperature of 72 degrees; comfort is the difference (say 20 degrees) you experience indoors versus outside. AND HERE IS THE REASON WHY.

HVAC systems are based on your geographic area’s design temperature.

In Virginia, our one-percent design temperature during the summer is 93 degrees which means temperatures in our area will go above 93 degrees only one percent of the hours in a year—based on a 30-year average.

During the winter, our 99-percent design temperature is the temperature in Virginia that stays above 17 degrees for 99 percent of all the hours in the year—based on a 30-year average. So the outdoor air in Virginia is going to be colder than 17 degrees for just one percent of the hours during the year! (More on the winter design temperature and load calculation the Fall!)

When an HVAC consultant designs a system for your home, they review the 99-percent and one-percent design temperatures for your area. HVAC units are not sized based solely on the one-percent, 93-plus-degree days we get during the year. If your system were sized based on the hottest or coldest days of the year—your system would be oversized.

During the hottest one-percent degree days, your system will maintain about a 20-degree difference because your AC was designed to provide optimal comfort when the outdoor temperature is under 93 degrees—which is 99 percent of the time. Remember, Virginia tops these abnormally hot days around one percent of all the hours in a given year; while they might be hot and uncomfortable, those above 93-degree days are the minority. Make sure your HVAC filter is clean and turn on those ceiling fans!

What if your HVAC can’t keep up for an extended period of time?

If your system cannot keep up with a 20-degree difference for an extended period of time, your system may need professional servicing to check for inadequate sizing, ductwork or refrigeration leaks, dirty filters, or a suffocating (dirty) condenser. And if your unit is over ten-years-old, Energy Star suggests thinking about replacing it.

If you just can’t stand the heat, Mitsubishi mini-split heat pumps are an excellent solution to supplement your existing HVAC—or they can stand alone!

  • Mini-splits are extremely efficient (up to 26 SEER).
  • Mini-splits can more efficiently match the heating and cooling loads of a home.

Talk with an HVAC consultant to design a comfort system that you understand—and one that works best for you every day of the year and in every room of your home. You want to be comfortable; that is so worth having a conversation with a comfort specialist!

Keep Reading

Troubleshoot a Tripped Circuit Breaker.

Troubleshoot a Tripped Circuit Breaker.

When a breaker trips in your home, it’s due to overcapacity or a short: The breaker trips, stopping the flow of electricity as a safety measure. A tripped main breaker will cut the power off to your entire house. SOME COMMON CAUSES CAN INCLUDE: too many appliances; appliances that require too much electricity; damaged breakers;

Read More  
Troubleshoot uneven heating.

Troubleshoot uneven heating.

Routine maintenance makes sure your heat pump is working at peak performance. But if one room is typically colder than the rest of your home, here are a few DIY tips you can do to help. Test your thermostat. Affix a thermometer on your wall next to your thermostat. Place a towel behind the thermometer

Read More  
Troubleshoot a clogged toilet.

Troubleshoot a clogged toilet.

To ensure that your toilet doesn’t overflow, remove the lid from the toilet tank and close the rubber flapper—unless you have a pressure-assisted tank. You may also reach behind the toilet and turn off the water supply. (Make sure you turn the supply back on when you’re ready to flush again.) PLUNGER Grab a heavy-duty

Read More  
What is emergency heat?

What is emergency heat?

What is emergency heat—and why do I need it? As a follow-up to our recent blog “My A/C won’t keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day,” we’re taking a look at how heat pumps use emergency heat to perform adequately during the winter. Emergency or auxiliary heat is a supplemental heating component installed

Read More  
After the Flood.

After the Flood.

One year ago in May, severe rain in Charlottesville, Va. caused the banks of rivers and streams to flood; so much so that people lost their lives. I recently sat with Diana and Scott outside their home in White Hall to talk with them about the flood and how it changed their perspective on service.

Read More  
How will the R22 refrigerant phase-out affect me?

How will the R22 refrigerant phase-out affect me?

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, an R-22 refrigerant phase-out has been taking place in the air conditioning industry (since 2013) that will affect you—if it hasn’t already. (Some systems after 2010 were manufactured with the use of R-22. You can check the nameplate on your condenser for the refrigerant type.) The R-22

Read More  
Clearing The Air.

Clearing The Air.

There are many steps you can take to create a more air-friendly indoor environment. Some of the devices and claims can make the topic of air filtration confusing. Well, it doesn’t have to be. Read our blog and take a look at the simplified diagram to see if we can help clear the air on

Read More  
Finding value. It starts with a conversation.

Finding value. It starts with a conversation.

Defined as relative worth, merit, or importance: value is different for everyone. The “best” may not always be the right value for your home. And this nuance is important to consider when it comes to replacing your HVAC system. Start with the right HVAC consultant or technician; they will walk you through a series of

Read More  
Snow, ice, and a little peace of mind.

Snow, ice, and a little peace of mind.

Snow and ice are in the forecast for us (again). If you’re off to grab a few provisions, don’t forget to build in a little time to make sure your heat pump is ready for snow. A few simple steps can go a long way in ensuring you stay comfortable and safe during the snow

Read More  
Five Signs it’s Time for a New Heating System

Five Signs it’s Time for a New Heating System

There comes a time in every home owner’s life when they realize their furnace just isn’t what it used to be. Years of wear took its toll, and your once young and powerful heating system is now struggling to keep your room warm. We know it is hard to say goodbye, but delaying its replacement

Read More  
Preparing for Baby: Ideal Home Temperature

Preparing for Baby: Ideal Home Temperature

As you prepare to welcome your little one, there are probably a million things running through your mind when it comes to “baby-proofing” your home. While we cannot cover every safety tip out there, there are some important steps you can take to keep your family comfortable and safe during this new stage of life.

Read More  
Service Titan: The Future of Customer Service

Service Titan: The Future of Customer Service

A Smarter and More Efficient Way to Manage As manager of the call center, there is never a dull day for Chrissy Kelly. Her job involves overseeing all of the operations in the department, meaning she must keep track of a lot of information. The call center team works together to handle all follow-up coordination,

Read More  
Ten Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

Ten Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

There is a reason why more and more homeowners are making the switch to programmable thermostats every year–well… ten reasons actually: 1) It Saves You Money (Really) The best way to combat those high bills is to reduce your energy usage. Instead of heating or cooling your house while you are away, you are able

Read More  
Customizable Smart Home Technology

Customizable Smart Home Technology

After decades of experience providing reliable plumbing, electric, and HVAC services, W.E. Brown has expanded their products/services to include smart-home technology. While the idea of smart-home devices may be intimidating for some, Jay Taggart (CEO of W.E. Brown) saw this addition as a natural progression for the company. After all, they have been installing the

Read More  
Pursuing Her Lifelong Dream at W.E. Brown

Pursuing Her Lifelong Dream at W.E. Brown

Seven years ago, Jessica Pritchett began to dream about becoming an electrician, but put her goals aside to care for others. Despite all odds, her unwavering passion led her to pursue that dream at W.E. Brown years later. Her whole life, Jessica has been passionate about fixing things and discovering how they worked. However, pursuing

Read More  
W.E. Brown's Everyday Heroes Save Cat

W.E. Brown's Everyday Heroes Save Cat

When a family’s cat was in serious danger, duct mechanic Roy Haislip and call center employee Jennifer Perry did not hesitate to come to its rescue. Their heroic actions and compassion for others exemplify what we always aim to achieve at W.E. Brown. Read about how the event unfolded through the eyes of Roy and

Read More  
A Smart Way To Keep Your Cool. Plan Ahead.

A Smart Way To Keep Your Cool. Plan Ahead.

Everything working together to create your whole-home comfort (your HVAC, dishwasher, washer, and dryer) has a lifespan. A lot of people tend to wait until their system fails or gets entirely run into the ground before having it replaced. Something to consider, however, if you know the manufacturer’s lifespan on any of your products, is

Read More  
Rolling in 2018 With a Fleet of New Trucks

Rolling in 2018 With a Fleet of New Trucks

New Look, Same Reliable Service Here at W.E. Brown, we are always striving to go above and beyond for our customers, and there is no detail too small when it comes to providing an excellent experience. From the moment our trucks hit the road, our goal is to provide customer service that is both personal

Read More  

Forecasting The Health of Your Pipes With Video Certainty

Yep, and we give this video ‘Two Thumbs Up.’ As a routine check-up, a Sewer Camera video inspection of your main sewer line is a noninvasive and cost-effective way to forecast your home’s plumbing health as well as identify an invasive root before it grows, collects debris, and turns into a significant clog in your

Read More  
Building A World Of Efficiency— Starts Behind The Drywall

Building A World Of Efficiency— Starts Behind The Drywall

Let me cover another W.E. Brown focus group favorite—knowledge sharing. Something that is near and dear to my heart is new construction and home efficiency. It’s not obvious and so I’ve created an article and blog on the topic: The choices you make behind the drywall should be as remarkable as the ones in plain

Read More