June 28, 2012
San Diegans Start your Air Conditioners!
In southern California, most everyone waits until it gets hot to start their AC, and this usually happens all at once sometime in July. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is a regulated public utility that provides energy service to 3.3 million consumers through 1.3 million electric meters and more than 800,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles (10,600 square kilometers). That’s a lot of houses, and demand for electricity surges during the summer. Add to that, the indefinite closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant, and SDG&E has quite a load to bear. When everyone starts the air conditioner at the same time, it overloads the SDG&E system causing a surge. The surge then blows out the capacitors on homeowners’ air conditioning units, meaning they will be without AC (just at the time when they need it most. When this happens, the HVAC companies get flooded with calls and have to start prioritizing responses due to age, location and other factors. This means you, your family and pets could be stuck without Air Conditioning for hours, or in severe cases, days. Aside from the discomfort and possible danger of being without air conditioning, there’s also the cost of fixing the capacitor (or worse, causing more severe damage and shortening the life of your system). You can protect yourself and your home by starting your AC early. You’ll want to run your system about 30-45 minutes; that’s about how long it should take to “satisfy” (or reach the temperature you set on the thermostat). You’ll want to set the thermostat about 5 degrees cooler than the ambient (natural) temperature. The time it takes to satisfy may vary due to the time of day, window placement and dressings, your home’s insulation. Annual Air Conditioning Tune-ups are also a great way to prolong the life of your system and save money through efficiency. Anderson Plumbing, Heating and Air urges you to take care of yourself AND do good for your fellow San Diegans, get your AC runnin’! Have you ever blown a capacitor with your first start of the season? Please share your story below…