Most would say their air conditioner is an essential part of their home. When the heat of summer hits hard, having a working air conditioner lessens the discomfort and allows homes to become a cooling oasis.
Air conditioners cool the air inside a home and bring it to a set temperature. Many people wonder how long the cooling process takes once they turn on their unit. Before answering this question, you need to know how an air conditioner cools.
How Does an Air Conditioner Work?
Learning how an air conditioner works helps answer the factors that go into the time it takes to cool your home. First, it is essential to understand the three major components of an air conditioner.
The compressor and condenser are located outside your home. The evaporator is likely inside the house. An AC system works with chemicals to remove heat from your home and cool the air. This process takes place rapidly and involves the following steps.
- The cooling fluid enters the compressor in low-pressure gas form. The compressor compresses the molecules tightly. This force creates higher temperatures and a rise in energy.
- The liquid is released from the compressor as a hot gas with high pressure. Next, the gas moves to the condenser. When the gas leaves the condenser, it becomes colder and liquified.
- The fluid goes to the evaporator next. Because the fluid goes through a narrowed hole, it loses pressure. At this time, the liquid becomes a gas again.
- The fluid then leaves the evaporator as a chilled gas. It makes its way to the compressor, where the process starts again.
Many people think air conditioners are simple machines, but they are complex. To ensure an air conditioner cools efficiently, homeowners need to get professional installation. Now that you know how these machines work, it is time to determine how fast an AC cools a home.
How Long Should an Air Conditioner Take to Cool a House?
Most air conditioners can cool a home within thirty minutes, depending on multiple factors. An air conditioner’s cooling ability depends on several factors. The more efficient the machine, the faster its cooling ability.
Air conditioners in their prime should cool quickly and uniformly in each room of the house. To learn about the factors that affect the cooling speed of an air conditioner, read the information below.
The Age of the Air Conditioner
One of the most significant factors affecting cooling speed is the age of the system. If an air conditioner is older, it will not work as efficiently and will take longer to cool a home, especially on hot days.
New energy-efficient models cool homes much faster and with less effort. If your unit is older and takes forever to cool, it may be time to consider a new unit.
The Size of the System
The size of the unit also determines its cooling ability. If a system is too small for a home, it will take longer to cool. Not only will the smaller unit not cool a home effectively, but it will also increase your electricity costs because it has to work overtime.
The Outdoor Climate and Humidity
Air conditioners are designed to lower a home’s temperature by 20 degrees. For instance, if the outdoor temperatures are 95, your home will not get any cooler than 75 if it works correctly.
Those living in hot climates will find their air conditioner is going to struggle more to cool the home than those living in a more moderate climate. You should test the ability of the air conditioner to perform correctly.
The State of the Unit
Air conditioners require maintenance to work efficiently. Some manufacturers require maintenance, or the owner voids the warranty.
Each day an air conditioner operates, it experiences some wear and tear. You can lessen the degradation by scheduling regular maintenance appointments.
When an air conditioning unit does not receive the maintenance it needs, it will cool less efficiently. The worn parts cannot keep up with the demands of the set thermostat.
If your air conditioner is no longer keeping your home cool or taking forever to reach the set temperature, call a repair technician. An HVAC technician can tell you if the unit is repairable or needs replacing.
How to Maximize the Cooling Efficiency of Your Air Conditioner
During the summer, keeping a home clean can seem like an impossible task. As the temperature rises, people turn down their thermostats and hope for the best.
When an AC system is no longer cooling a home quickly, repair issues may be to blame. The following tips should help increase the efficiency of an air conditioner and make your home cooler.
- Have your duct system tested and repaired by a certified technician. Sealed ducts deliver cool air more efficiently and without loss.
- Insulate your home to ensure no cool air is escaping through cracks and crevices or old windows.
- Keep the filter changed or clean. A dirty filter causes multiple problems with the operation of air conditioners.
- Install the outdoor unit in the shade. AC units work more effectively when installed on the north-facing side of homes.
- Keep the coils on the condenser clean, so they operate more efficiently.
- Schedule an annual inspection and maintenance appointment to ensure the unit works effectively and does not have any issues that need repairing.
Rely on HVAC Professionals to Keep Your Home Cool
If your air conditioner seems to have trouble keeping your home cool or takes too long, some factors above are to blame. When air conditioners are past their prime, it is time to consider a new unit.
Scheduling an inspection with a certified HVAC technician can reveal valuable information about a unit’s function. Technicians will find any minor issues and repair them before they become significant problems. With prompt repairs and routine maintenance, an air conditioner is more likely to cool your home quickly. An efficient AC system means a more comfortable home.
Blake Brumfield is the owner of AC TEX, LLC Air Conditioning and Heating. He is a graduate of Lindsey-Cooper Refrigeration School and has over 6 years of working experience out in the field. Blake holds a Universal EPA License, Certified Technician License, and a HVAC Contractor License. In addition to his love of the outdoors, Blake spends most of his free time continuing to study and learn about today’s modern HVAC systems.