Arizona’s official monsoon season is June 15ththrough September 30th. These storms range from minor dust storms to intense thunderstorms. The monsoon usually starts with heavy winds, which can turn into a wall of dust hundreds of feet high moving across the Mesa area Valley. Phoenix dust storms, called haboobs, are often accompanied by thunder and lightning and sometimes lead to heavy downpours. It’s the only season during which Arizonans don’t use the phrase “it’s a dry heat”.
The Arizona Division of Public Health Services describes AZ heat as “more than a nuisance – it is lethal.” And the severity of annual monsoons affects our roadways – including driving visibility and flash flooding – as well as air quality. A 10,000 foot-tall wall of dust, 30 or more miles wide can do a lot of damage, especially to a home’s HVAC system.
Since a home’s air conditioning system filters the outside air, the dust storms that are part of a monsoon can put strain on your unit, making it work harder and less efficiently. Because the a/c unit may run longer than normal due to the higher humidity, homeowners may need to lower the thermostat setting in order to keep comfortable. 77 degrees in a 50% humid home does not feel good.
Cleaning the unit’s condensate drain will help keep your HVAC system clean and clear out any debris, which makes the unit more efficient. Not cleaning the drain out can put so much strain on the system that it can cause damage. Air conditioning pulls humidity out of the air while it cools, and that moisture has to go somewhere. Making sure your unit’s condensate drain is clean and clear of debris will prevent the drain from overflowing and potentially causing property damage (from a ceiling caving in, for example).
When the electricity goes out during a monsoon, it’s best to turn your air conditioning unit off so there’s not a huge power draw when the electricity comes back on. In fact, investing in surge protection is also a wise move, considering your a/c is the biggest power draw in your home.
You should call John’s Refrigeration Heating and Cooling if you have issues with your a/c unit during the monsoon. After all the dust has settled, make an appointment to have our certified technicians check your home’s HVAC, including duct work and air quality, to ensure your family is breathing fresh air. After all, we are your indoor comfort specialists.