The Challenges of Edmonton’s Short A/C Season
While the summer heat has arrived, you tend to forget how fleeting it can be and how that can affect your decision to install central air conditioning this season or have your existing unit maintained. Most homeowners don’t realize that air conditioning can only be installed, serviced, or repaired when the outdoor temperature is at least 15 degrees Celsius. This is because air conditioning provides cool air using a liquid gas called refrigerant that must be pressurized in order for the unit to operate properly.
When temperatures are too cool, it is impossible to get correct temperature and pressure readings from your A/C compressor. Temperature and pressure readings from are required in order to properly install and set up a new unit, service an existing unit, and diagnose a compressor for any repairs. Air conditioners are also equipped with a temperature-activated switch that will not allow the air conditioning to turn on in cooler temperatures. In the Edmonton area, we usually do not see 15 degrees Celsius until early May with temperatures dipping in late September. That only leaved five short months to install air conditioning or have it maintained! This is a very short window considering your furnace can be serviced year round and operates 7-8 months of the year.
With the short season, scheduling gets quite busy and some homeowners are left waiting until the very end of the summer to get their A/C installed – missing out on the needed relief during the early summer months. We suggest you get a free in-home estimate for air conditioning in early April if you are interested to ensure you will have the unit for the same cooling season. If you have missed the window for installation during the hot season we also suggest installing your indoor A/C coil in late summer or early fall and pre-booking your outdoor compressor installation for spring.
With record-breaking temperatures and more heat expected, supply and demand may also become an issue as it has in the past. Because Canada is a northern climate and the majority of air conditioners are manufactured in the United States, Canada only receives so many shipments of equipment every year. In fact, some of the models for Trane and other manufacturers are not even available in Canada unless they are special ordered. Many areas in the United States use their air conditioners as an essential service, just as we require furnaces in our climate to heat our homes. What this means for homeowners is that there may not be the biggest selection of model offerings later in the cooling season, and in some cases not at all.
It is also important to consider that the demand for air conditioning maintenance has increased over the past five years due to increased installations with the rising temperatures we have seen with our summers. We recommend that you have you air conditioner serviced every two years to ensure proper operation and preventative maintenance in conjunction with your furnace maintenance. If you wait too long to have your maintenance done, you may be stuck waiting until the next cooling season as we can only perform the service when temperatures are warm.
We have installed, serviced, and repaired more air conditioners in the last five years than in the last fifteen combined as the units become more economical, efficient, and practical. But the seasons, while more extreme in their heat and cold snaps, are generally the same length. Edmonton recently broke its electricity grid usage record during the hottest days so far this summer – that’s a lot of air conditioners running! If you want to stay cool, plan now and call us earlier rather than later.← Back to Blog