What Effect do Chicago’s Wild Temperature Swings have on Heating and Cooling Systems?

Northeastern Illinois, and specifically Chicago, are areas which are prone to fairly manic temperature swings. One day it could be nearly 100 degrees outside, and the next day it could be down around 65. These rapid temperature swings can have quite the effect on a number of things. You might not realize, but temperature swings can actually have a fairly seismic effect on heating and cooling systems.


Schedule HVAC maintenance today!


So, how do temperature swings effect heating and cooling systems?

Reduce system efficiency

Probably the #1 way in which rapid temperature swings effect HVAC systems is by decreasing their overall efficiency. See, every time a rapid temperature change occurs (and in Chicago, it’s a lot!), the heating and cooling system must work harder to catch up to that change. An upward spike in temperature will result in your air conditioner working harder, while a downward spike in temperature will result in your heater working harder.

Now, imagine your AC or heater working that hard several times a week, or even several times a day. This is the effect that eccentric temperature swings have on your HVAC system. Because temperatures are constantly changing, your system is never able to stabilize. It’s constantly working, and constantly using energy.

Cause more thermostat adjustments

The other way in which rapid temperature swings affect HVAC systems is by forcing more thermostat adjustments. Chicago weather conditions are unpredictable. The day may start at around 65 degrees, necessitating little to no use of your AC. However, as the day goes on, the temperature could get up to around 95 degrees. When this happens, you may have to turn your air conditioner down a couple of degrees to work against the change.

Of course, every time you make an adjustment on your thermostat, you’re forcing your heating and cooling system to work harder. The rapid temperature swings prevent you from keeping your system set on one temperature. You must constantly be changing it to accommodate the present weather conditions.

What can be done to counteract the effect of temperature swings on your heating and cooling systems?

Set a median temperature and stick with it

There are a number of things you can do to help counteract the effect of temperature swings on your heating and cooling system. The first (but least desirable) thing you can do is to set your system at a certain temperature and stick with it regardless of any temperature changes.

While this will help reduce the overall workload on your HVAC system, it will also result in less than ideal indoor climate conditions. It will always be too hot or too cold. It will never quite feel the way you actually want it to feel. So, while it will help increase the efficiency of your system, it will do so at the cost of your comfort.

Purchase a dehumidifier

During those hot, summer Chicago afternoons in which the weather is creeping up to around 100, the humidity can become almost unbearable. Your AC can help to counteract this humidity, but will have to work very hard to do so. Instead of blasting your AC, you might consider purchasing a dehumidifier. A Chicago air conditioning contract can help you make the right decision.

A dehumidifier won’t do much to decrease the heat, but will help to eliminate a decent amount of the humidity. The problem with using a dehumidifier is that the energy used to power it can actually end up being more expensive than if you had just blasted your AC. It’s a nice supplement to your system, but does carry with it some flaws. Learn more about dehumidifier systems.

Purchase new systems

If your heating and cooling systems are really having trouble counteracting the rapid Chicago temperature swings, your best bet is to purchase all new systems. While this will certainly cost a lot more in the short-term, it will pay huge dividends in the long run.

Modern heating systems and air conditioners are more efficient than they’ve ever been before, and are equipped with functions which allow them to change slowly throughout the day. This will prevent them from working too hard when temperature swings do arise. Not only will you spend less money on energy, but, because they’re not working as hard, you’ll also spend less money on maintenance for your systems.


The best Chicago Air Conditioning company is Lakeview.

Call us today and we will identify your challenges and the best solutions.