how long should it take my AC to cool down my house?During the summer months, when the temperatures are soaring, the last thing you want is to spend all day waiting for your air conditioner to cool down your house. An air conditioner in good working order should be able to lower the temperature inside your house by at least 10 degrees within 3 hours.

However, there are a variety of factors that can affect this cooling time including the size of your home, the interior and exterior temperatures, the humidity level, and the working condition of your air conditioner.

There are also several things you can do to keep your air conditioner working at its most efficient level. Let’s take a closer look at how long it takes air conditioners to cool your home, and how you can help minimize this time by keeping your AC properly maintained.

What Affects the Cooling Time?

There are a number of things that can affect the efficiency of your air conditioner and how fast it can cool down your home. These factors can include:

Size of the air conditioner

Air conditioners are measured in BTU’s or British Thermal Units. These units determine how effective an air conditioner can be in larger spaces. The larger the BTU rating number, the better equipped this air conditioner is for larger homes with multiple rooms. If your air conditioner is not rated for the size of house you have, it can take much longer to cool down your space.

Air filter condition

All air conditioners have an air filter which traps dust, pet dander, and pollen. As the air conditioner works and air is passed through the filter, these contaminants build up on the filter. A dirty filter can slow down the airflow making it take longer for your air conditioner to cool the room.

Leaking refrigerant

If you notice ice building up on the front panel or interior components of the air conditioner, you may have a refrigerant leak or improper refrigerant circulation. This normally needs the attention of a qualified technician to repair, but should be addressed as soon as it is noticed.

What If It Takes More Than 3 Hours?

Your air conditioner has the proper BTU rating, the air filters are clean, and the unit otherwise seems to be in good working order. But what can you do if it still takes longer than 3 hours to cool your home?

You may need to address some other things around your home to help your air conditioner do its job on exceptionally hot days. These things can include:

  • Installing blackout curtains. These curtains will keep the sun out of your home and help insulate your windows.
  • Closing off unused rooms. Guest bedrooms or storage rooms don’t need to be cooled all year round, instead block off those unused spaces.
  • Using fans to circulate air. Having ceiling fans or smaller desk fans can help move the cool air around your space much quicker.