How Fast Should AC Cool a Home and When is AC Repair the Answer?

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On those stifling SoCal days, a few minutes feels like an eternity when you’re waiting for the house to cool down. 

We broke records this year in June when temperatures soared to 121 degrees. With climate change, the EPA says these high temps are here to stay. Prolonged temperatures that high can be dangerous to humans. 

You need an efficient AC unit to keep you and your family comfortable and safe. How long should it take your system to cool down your home? Like most AC questions, it depends. 

Some homes just take longer to cool than others. However, there are also a few situations when a balmy home could suggest something is seriously wrong with your unit. 

How Long Should It Take Your AC Unit to Cool Your Hot House?

Every home is unique. The time it takes your AC unit to cool your home depends on a few factors: 

  • The size of your home 
  • The size of your AC unit 
  • Your home’s insulation 
  • The temperature when you turn the AC on 
  • The cleanliness and state of your ductwork 
  • The height of your ceilings and vent placements 
  • The state of your AC unit 

Let’s say there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your AC unit. A small space, like a studio or one-bedroom apartment, might cool down within an hour or two, even on a sweltering day. 

A large home with high ceilings could take two hours for the temperature to drop at all. 

Each city has its own “design temperature.” Air conditioners are specifically designed to operate within a certain temperature range for your area. 

As the days get hotter, older ACs literally aren’t designed to keep up. Your AC unit might never reach its set temperature on super-hot days over 100 degrees because it’s simply not designed to tackle temps that high. 

If you’re suspicious of your AC unit’s sudden drop in performance, even on hot days, give us a call at Home Comfort USA. We’ll investigate to figure out potential AC repair problems and give you an honest opinion about how your unit should function. 

How to Ensure Your Home Stays Cool When You Don’t Need AC Repair 

If your AC unit is in healthy shape but not cooling properly, you can take a few steps to fix it on your own.

  • Turn the unit on before it gets too hot outside. This will prevent your unit from competing against 100-degree temperatures inside your home. 
  • For floor vents, use vent covers that direct air upwards. Cold air sinks and hot air rises. Use ceiling fans to make the room feel colder than the actual temperature and pull air upwards. 

6 Situations When You Need AC Repair or Maintenance to Solve the Problem

If your AC unit’s ability to cool has gotten worse over time or never worked great, to begin with, that’s a red flag you have other maintenance issues at play. Here are a few situations when AC repair or maintenance is necessary to fix it. 

1) Your Filter is Clogged 

A dirty air filter does more than taint air quality. It can also slow down your entire HVAC system. Filters have an essential job to do, and they need to be replaced regularly. 

A clogged filter will reduce airflow passing through your system. Less cool air makes its way into your home, and your temperatures may never drop to ideal levels. 

Not only that, but a clogged filter can overwork your unit, leading to breakdown and expensive repairs. 

Make sure to change your filter every three months or monthly during wildfire season. Homes with pets or people with breathing conditions should change their filter bi-monthly or monthly. 

2) Your AC Unit is Too Small for Your Space 

An expert should fit a unit properly for your home. If you’ve built additions to your home or the original installer didn’t choose the right system, your unit won’t cool your home as it should. 

Larger homes need larger units. Some large homes might require multiple units. Meanwhile, smaller homes and apartments can get away with smaller AC systems. 

While it might sound like a huge investment, installing a proper AC unit for your home can save you hundreds on your electric bill. 

3) Your Ductwork is Damaged or Dirty 

Did you know that in an average home, between 20% and 30% of air seeps out through the ductwork? Leaky ductwork causes two major problems where temperature is concerned: 

  • Air your HVAC system has already cooled seeps out of the ductwork and into your walls or attic. Hot air from inside your walls or attic gets pulled into your ducts from the leaks, mingles with the cool air, and makes your home warmer. 

If ductwork is the problem, you might notice other issues like dusty rooms or dirty vents. 

Cleaning and replacing your ductwork ensures your system functions as it should. Not only does it keep you comfortable, but it keeps energy costs down as well.

4) The Refrigerant Levels in Your Unit are Low 

Just like your car needs an oil change, your AC unit needs regular maintenance and care. Warm air exiting your vents could mean your refrigerant levels are low. 

Unlike an oil change, this isn’t a job you want to try yourself. Refrigerant chemicals are extremely hazardous. It’s illegal for anyone other than a licensed professional to handle them. 

Instead, schedule a call with our friendly technicians and let us get you fixed up!

5) The Evaporator Coils are Dirty 

Your evaporator coils remove humidity and heat from the air before it enters your home. If they’re dirty, they can’t cool properly, and your home will always feel too warm. 

Forgetting to change a dirty air filter can lead to dirty evaporator coils. 

Schedule a 32-point tune-up with our professionals. We’ll get your coils cleaned up, replace faulty parts, and make sure your system is running as it should. 

6) Your AC Unit is Dirty 

Outdoor units can get clogged with dead leaves, insects, and debris, which slows down performance and leads to breakdown. You can clean the exterior yourself but don’t try to open it and clean the fan blades. 

Book Your AC Repair with the Professionals at Home Comfort USA 

Our experts at Home Comfort USA are specially trained to diagnose your most troubling AC issues. We’ll investigate the issue and give you an honest, educated opinion. 

You can trust we’ll never try to sell you anything you don’t need. We know how expensive AC repair and maintenance is, and we want to help. That’s why we have an A+ rating with the BBB! 

Let’s get your AC unit running in top shape! Schedule a 32-Point Tune-Up!

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