San Diego is known for its mild weather. The ocean breezes can cool things down, but there are some warm days as well. When living in San Diego, you may wonder whether you need an air conditioner.
San Diego Weather
The San Diego region enjoys beautiful weather. In the summer, the lows are usually in the 60s. The average high for July is about 88, but since San Diego is so far south, it can get much warmer than this. Every summer has hit 100 degrees in recent years, and this kind of temperature can be hard to deal with. When these soaring temperatures are maintained for several days, it can be hazardous if you don’t have air conditioning.
Another factor that can make this area uncomfortable in summer is the Santa Ana winds. Unlike breezes from the ocean which bring cool, moist air, Santa Ana winds originate inland and bring hot, dry air. Santa Ana winds often blow in the fall, and that’s why September and October can have their fair share of hot days.
It’s important to note that San Diego has a coastal desert climate. Humidity can play a significant role in how hot it feels. It could feel 10 or 15 degrees warmer when it’s humid. Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with this too much in our area.
Another point about our climate is that the temperature isn’t the same throughout the region. Coastal communities generally stay cooler than those further inland, like San Marcos. Just traveling a few miles can make a big difference. Elevation and the proximity to hills can influence the weather, too. If you’re inland in a low area that doesn’t get a lot of cool breezes, your home might get pretty hot during summer days.
Dealing Without Air Conditioning
If you don’t have air conditioning, you’ll probably manage to get by for the most part. Not every home in the San Diego region was built with central air, so you’ll be in good company.
You’ll want to take advantage of the cooler temperatures at night and in the morning. Opening your windows once the temperature has dropped in the evening can be a smart move. If possible, leave them open all night so that your rooms can cool down while you’re sleeping. Positioning a fan near the window could help bring more cool air into your home.
When the sun comes up, things could start to warm up. Close your windows and drapes in the morning to trap as much cool air as possible. Cover your windows with thick shades to block out the light. The sun in the afternoon can be strong. No matter how many of these precautions you take, however, during a heat wave, your home can get dangerously hot without AC, making you vulnerable to heat exhaustion or worse.
Air Conditioning Options
If the heat becomes too much for you, there are many options to consider. First, you can think about getting central air. A central air unit blows cool air through ducts set up in the home. These ducts lead to different areas, and vents allow the cool air to reach your bedrooms and common areas. Central air can be convenient, and newer homes are more likely to have central air than older homes.
If you have an older home and want an easy way to keep your home cool, you may be able to get ducts installed. A company might be able to run ducts through your attic or behind some walls. After a central AC system has gotten set up, your whole home can remain much cooler, and you’ll get a nice break from the heat.
There’s another great choice if you aren’t interested in getting ductwork. Instead of getting central air, you can get a mini-split system. Mini-splits are versatile and are usually very energy efficient. A mini-split, like a traditional air conditioner, does require the use of an outdoor unit. Some systems have multiple indoor units, or you can have multiple indoor and outdoor units. Mini-splits can have multiple thermostats so that you can have different zones in the home set to different temperatures.
If you have a single-family house or a duplex, you may be able to set up that outdoor unit in the yard. If you don’t have a yard, an outdoor unit could get placed on your roof or mounted on an exterior wall.
The mini-splits indoor unit would be placed in the room you’d like to cool. It would send cool air directly into that room without any ducts. The indoor unit can get mounted on the wall or hung from the ceiling.
Central air and mini-splits come with many benefits. They do require significant up-front costs, but many people who are sensitive to the heat feel that those investments are well worth it. Rather than having to suffer through the next heat wave without any air conditioning, you can relax while enjoying the cool air at home.
Another option is to get a window air conditioner. These ACs are mounted temporarily and are usually removed and stored during winter. A window unit will be the most affordable type of air conditioner to install. Still, it is not very energy efficient and is often not very effective. Just like a mini-split, a window unit can only cool the room it’s in. Besides being unsightly, window air conditioners can damage the window frame and are prone to air and water leaks. They also block the views from windows.
A different device can also cool your home, but it’s not an air conditioner: It’s a whole-house fan. A whole-house fan is installed in the ceiling between the top floor of the home and the attic. One of these fans can get turned on when the temperatures drop in the evening. As long as the windows are open, the fan can pull cool air into the home and push hot air through the attic.
Whole-house fans are more efficient than central air conditioners and can be much more affordable than mini-splits and central ACs. Many people in the San Diego area who have wanted to cool their entire homes but didn’t necessarily want to invest in air conditioning systems have gone with whole-house fans instead.
Reach Out to Us for Assistance
Turn to Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning if you’d like help with a central AC system, a mini-split, or a whole-house fan in San Marcos or the greater San Diego area. Our family-owned and -operated business has been around since 1998. Collectively, our team has more than 70 years of experience. We offer services related to heaters, air conditioners, mini splits, heat pumps, whole-house fans, smart thermostats, air purifiers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers. Call Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule an appointment.