How Long Should It Take a Central AC to Cool a Home?

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When it is hot and your AC seems to take a long time to cool off your home, you probably want some quick answers.

But, without knowing more about your home, your AC unit, and the outdoor temperature, it is difficult to answer this question.

what can slow down your ac system

The outdoor temperature. If your system struggles to reach your set temperature on very hot days, it doesn’t mean there is a problem. Your system is designed to keep up with what is called the “design temperatures.” Design temperatures are the range of temperatures that a city stays between 99% of the year.

In the Lehigh Valley, our design temperatures are between 12 degrees and 88 degrees. When the temperature is over 88 degrees, you may notice your air conditioner running constantly or struggling to keep your home cool. Air conditioning systems are designed to keep temperatures 20 degrees less than the outside temperature.

What to do: Keep your home cooler by closing drapes, using ceiling fans, and making sure all vents are open and not blocked by furniture.

A dirty air filter. If your air filter is clogged, it blocks the amount of air it pulls into the AC system. Less airflow puts a strain on your unit and slows down your AC’s ability to cool your home.

What to do: Change your filter regularly. Usually, we recommend you check it on the first of each month to see if it needs replacing. Remember, if you have pets or smoke in your home, you may have to replace it more often.

Leaks in air ducts. If your air ducts are not connected properly or there are holes in them, the cool air escapes into unconditioned areas (basement, behind walls, etc.)

What to do: Have a professional inspect the ductwork. They will be able to detect the leaky areas and repair them.

Low refrigerant. The refrigerant is the cooling agent that moves the heat from inside your home to the outdoor air. If your system is low on refrigerant, it cannot remove the heat from your home.

What to do: Call a professional to inspect the unit for any leaks and to recharge your system with more refrigerant. Depending on the age of your system and the type of refrigerant it requires, it may be time to consider replacing it.

AC is too small. If your air conditioner is too small for your home, it will run constantly, but not cool your home properly. Professional contractors perform a calculation based on many factors such as home size, geographical area, insulation, windows, etc. to determine what size unit your home needs.

What to do: Call a professional. They will inspect your current system and home to determine what size AC unit you need and replace the current system with a properly sized unit.

Trusted HVAC Services

Is your air conditioner struggling to keep your home cool? The experts at Burkholder’s Heating and Air Conditioning can determine the cause and make recommendations based on the most economical and affordable solution for you and your home. We also offer financing if you are considering replacing your system. Please contact us today to find out more.