Wednesday August 15, 2007

Note: This is the 3rd consecutive day of posting – even though I’ve mostly been stealing other people’s humor and plagiarizing here on my site…. That’s ok. Still entertaining.

Dad: Those weren’t my words, no need to be alarmed. Someone emailed it to me, and I thought it was funny. Though, I remember always thinking similar things about the magic powers of “paper”….

So. Today’s topic: Air Conditioning. Please note that I am not about to make any comparisons about how hot it is here compared to other parts of the country and the world – especially since it’s been a pretty nice summer. I heard the same piece of information this week from two completely independent sources and I would like to present the question to you for validation. (Mostly I want to know what my Dad thinks – not only because he’s my Dad and dads know everything, but because he was in “the business” at one point in time.)

I have been told that an air conditioner can only cool a building up to 20 degrees below the temperature outside. Can this be true?

6 thoughts on “Wednesday August 15, 2007

  1. I think that’s a lie.  Because the nurses I work with (many of which are menopausal) keep the unit at a constant 50 degrees- when it’s about 95 outside. 

  2. My room has been right around the low 70s all summer despite a metal door that opens directly to the outside air which has been over 120 for quite some time.

  3. My vote…

    Some of the new-fangled computerized cooling systems may be set to cool a building according to the outside temperature.  For example, my office building in Fremont — new system — it basically sucked.  It cooled/heated according to the outside temperature.  There were all sorts of sensors on the outside of the building and the inside was either not cool enough in the summer because it was soooo hot outside, or it was definitely not warm enough in the winter, because it was cold outside, and the “new-fangled” system worked in coordination with outside temp.  I, too, will be interested to hear Dad’s explanation!

  4. I am so glad you all think it’s not true! I have been fighting the good fight here at the office – and no one believes me! Dad?

  5. Absolutely False…..   That is the suggested difference for comfort and economy (approx 20 degrees) but has absolutely nothing to do with how cold an AC unit can make a room or house.   Some people may confuse it with the approx standard of a 15 to 20 degree difference that an air conditioning unit is designed to cool air as it passes through the coil.  For instance, if a house is 90 degrees when you turn on the AC, the air coming out of the vent should be approx 70 degrees and then will get cooler as the air temp entering the AC units gets cooler.  It should maintain about a 20 degree difference.  When the room is getting close to say 70, then the air coming out would be around 50, etc.  The coil operates at about 38 to 40 degrees, so in theory you could get the room down to the mid 40’s or lower if there is enough insulation, even if it was 100 degrees outside.   Last thing on the subject from me is that one other situation can be involved.  There are systems set up with indoor and outdoor sensors that do not allow the interior temp to be more than 20 degrees cooler than outside for the economy aspect.  The AC could definitely cool it further but the controls will not allow it.  

  6. I agree that good/bad insulation has much to do with this issue. But I also know that air conditioning units are installed to a house according to the size of the house. If an oversized unit for a 5,000sq/ft house was put on to a 900sq/ft condo, you could reach arctic levels in the space. Or on the reverse, a unit too small for a house would probably never get it cold (think window units). There are too many variables that could be taking place here, but not to worry. Jeff and I have come up with a hypothesis: an AC unit perfectly fitted for the square footage of a house could cool it up to 30 degrees cooler than the weather outside with a +/-20 degree rate of error….

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