Air Conditioning / June 5, 2018

San Diego’s Weather and Your HVAC System

San Diego County has some of the best weather in the Northern Hemisphere. You can’t beat a region that isn’t subject to polar vortexes, blizzards and typically any extreme temperature fluctuations. 

If you’ve just moved to the region, especially into North County, most of the weather will seem delightful. In fact, you may not even feel the need to have air conditioning or keep your heater ready to go. But you’ll find out sooner or later that San Diego is home to some wildly variable weather that can surprise even long-time residents. 

Santa Ana Winds and Heat 

If you’re new to the state, you need to know about Santa Ana winds. These are winds from the east and northeast that occur when high pressure in the Great Basin region sends winds flowing down to the low pressure by the California coast. Santa Anas occur at any time of the year, but they’re particularly uncomfortable in Summer and Fall. 

The winds push hot, dry desert air into San Diego. The humidity plummets and increases the heat and fire risk. Homeowners have to ensure that their air conditioning is in good condition to combat the temperatures that can often soar into the 90s, even on the coast. 

Because Santa Anas can increase the risk of wildfires, homeowners should check that the filters in their air conditioning systems are new or in good shape. Should a fire start and winds blow ashes your way, your home’s filters could become clogged quickly. When the fire is contained and ash fall is no longer a concern, change the filters once again. 

The Marine Layer and July Fry 

Other than Santa Ana winds, what gets San Diegans complaining about the weather is the marine layer. This coastal fog creeps along canyons and creates gloomy, cloudy, cool, moist conditions, even in inland cities like Escondido. The temperatures are rather moderate, but they can still lead to some chilly mornings that call for a heater. The marine layer is most prominent in May and June in the morning, leading to the names May Gray and June Gloom.   

While the temperatures might not be bad, the humidity can rise and then drop later in the day. The constant change between cool and damp in the morning to warm and dry in the afternoon can wreak havoc on rubber and plastic items like hoses in your air conditioning system. Keep an ear out for strange sounds when you finally turn on your air conditioner. 

July Fry may sound like a joke, but it’s not. Inland temperatures can soar in July, August, and September, leading to triple digits in inland cities and valleys. Even the coast can experience heat into the 90s. This is prime air conditioning time, and with California’s repeated energy conservation issues, your AC needs to be at its most efficient. 

Monsoons, Tropical Systems, and Humidity 

Everyone in the county gets monsoonal humidity in summer, and it’s common for tropical remnants to work their way up from Mexico, bringing yet more humidity. Your air conditioner doubles as a dehumidifier — when it works properly. Be on the lookout for increased humidity in your home when you use your AC. If it feels like there’s more moisture, call an AC repair company pronto. 

Don’t Forget Winter 

Winter in the region can see lows dip below freezing. Ice storms aren’t a problem, but you do need to use a heater, at least overnight. The inland regions are especially prone to dipping below freezing because cold desert air moves west along canyons. 

All homeowners need to have their heating systems inspected before winter starts. Even in years when winter seems delayed, there is a good chance of at least one cold snap that sends overnight temperatures into the freezing range. 

You’re not in for many severe weather events in this part of the country, but neither are you in an area where air conditioning and heating are never needed. Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar  is ready to help you keep your heating and air conditioning ready to go no matter the weather. 

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