With summers right around the corner, it’s high time for you to check the operations of your central, window, or standing air conditioners. With temperatures soaring, a poorly performing AC can cause a lot of discomfort and annoyance.
An easy way to check if your AC is working properly is by timing how long it takes to cool your house. If it’s taking too long to achieve a temperature change, chances are that you need to call a technician.
This article will take a look at some factors that may affect your AC and the average time it takes for ACs at their peak performance levels to achieve a cooling effect.
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So, Just How Long Does it Take to Cool a House?
On average, a properly functioning AC unit will show a temperature difference of 10 degrees in four hours. However, this is not set in stone and multiple factors (see below), can affect your AC’s performance. Generally, if the time difference to achieve this reduction in temperature is more than 30-40 minutes off the average of four hours, your AC needs a check-up from a technician. Our easy hack is to set a stand-alone thermometer in the area of your home you spend the most time in and use a watch or smartphone to see how long it takes until that area drops 10 degrees from when you switch on the AC unit.
Factors that Affect Cooling Time of Your AC
AC units deal with numerous variables that can determine just how long it takes to cool a house. The following factors are key.
- Outside temperature: In extreme heat, some AC units lose their efficiency. While most are designed to withstand hot temperatures, constant exposure to the sun can increase the unit’s internal temperature. So place the outdoor units in a shaded spot. Or even consider creating shade over the unit to improve its cooling ability.
- AC Size and Power: The size and power of the AC can also affect cooling performance. However, that is rarely the case with central units. Building codes have minimum requirements for central AC units, and likely the unit for your home or apartment will be adequate for its size.
- The condition of your air filters: Air filters need to be replaced regularly. Clogged and dirty filters are often the culprits when your AC starts declining in performance. Unless you own an air purifier, you’ll notice that the air filter will need more frequent cleaning.
- The refrigerant level: The refrigerant for ACs is like oil for a car. Remember to regularly refill your refrigerants for maximum performance.
- Leakages or faults in the insulation: The insulation is essential to retain the internal temperature of the house. If you consistently deal with high power bills in summer and winter, you should take a close look for leaks in insulation.
- Dirty and clogged air ducts: The air ducts in your house are the actual channel for cold air in your house. Over time, these ducts become clogged with dirt and other particles, disturbing airflow. Air duct cleaning is a crucial task as clogged air ducts can pose health risks in addition to reducing performance of heating and cooling.
No technical background or access to tools? Time just how long it takes to cool your house. It’s the best gauge of your AC unit’s performance. If your AC is running and you’re not getting cooler, it's time to call the HVAC technician.