In Texas, central air is a household staple. With highs reaching over 90 degrees in the summer months, a functioning air conditioner isn’t just a luxury. It’s a necessity.

Houston area summers are getting hotter year over year. For many Huffman homeowners, that means adopting a new strategy to keep their homes cool without breaking the bank.

How long should your AC run in Huffman? What are the signs that your HVAC system isn’t running as efficiently as it should be? Is there a way to keep costs low while staying comfortable?

Read on to learn what the pros have to say about running your AC in the summer to get the most out of it.

How Long Is the Typical AC Refrigeration Cycle?

In simple terms, the AC refrigeration cycle refers to the individual cooling cycle. In other words, when your AC kicks in and starts forcing cool air through your home, it’s going through the refrigeration cycle.

Modern AC systems will run until your home’s temperature matches the temperature on your thermostat. If you set your AC at 76, your AC will run until your home is 76 degrees. (Note that if your AC turns on and off sporadically, it’s probably a sign that your AC needs maintenance.)

This tends to take between 15 and 25 minutes. On a hot day when you don’t touch your thermostat, this may happen one to three times per hour. 

How Long Should Your AC Run Each Day?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Only you can decide how cool your home needs to be to feel comfortable. 

That said, running your AC for a total of 10 to 15 hours per day should keep your home safe and comfortable without sending your electricity bill through the roof. Remember, this doesn’t mean your AC should run for 10 to 15 hours straight. It should run in cycles throughout the day. 

Factors That Impact Your AC’s Cooling Power

Maybe you’ve tuned into how often your AC is running and it’s way higher than 15 hours a day. Maybe it’s running for the typical 10 to 15 hours a day, but it doesn’t feel cool in your home. Here are some of the factors that can impact your AC’s cooling power.

Size of Your Home

The size of your home is going to make a big impact on your AC’s cooling power and how long it takes to reach your desired temperature. In short, the bigger your house is, the longer it will take to cool it down in the summer.

The layout of your AC system can also make a difference. If you’ve added square footage to your home without expanding your AC system, your AC may run longer or you may notice that some rooms are hotter than others.

Air Conditioner Age and Condition

On average, AC units can last between 15 and 25 years. The exact maximum lifespan will depend on your HVAC’s make and model. No matter what type of HVAC system you have, you’ll need to invest in regular maintenance to reach that maximum lifespan.

Without inspections, repairs, and part replacements, your AC will start to wear down. Even small issues can cause your AC to work harder in order to meet your desired temperature. You’ll notice your electricity bill increasing as your AC runs longer or uses more electricity. 

Home Insulation

Believe it or not, the effectiveness of your AC isn’t just about the HVAC system itself. Insulation and seals play a big role in keeping conditioned air in and outdoor air out.

If, for example, your windows are outdated and don’t have double panes and strong seals, you’re going to lose some of your cool air. If you know your AC is in good shape but you’re still struggling to cool your home, it’s time to look at your insulation, windows, doors, and roof as possible sources of cooling loss.

How to Maximize Efficiency

What can you do to improve the efficiency of your AC system so you can maximize cooling power while reducing energy usage? Here are our top three suggestions for Huffman homeowners.

Update Your HVAC System

Before we get into the heat of summer, schedule an AC inspection. A professional HVAC company can replace or repair damaged parts to bring your AC unit back up to speed. 

High-efficiency HVAC systems can reduce both heating and cooling energy use by up to 50%. Depending on the age and condition of your HVAC system, you may want to replace it with a new and energy-efficient model.

Adjust Your Thermostat

If you’re worried that your AC is running more than it should, you may want to adjust your thermostat. 78 degrees is considered a safe indoor air temperature in the summer. Anything lower can force your AC to work overtime.

If adjusting your thermostat doesn’t seem to make a difference, it’s possible that your thermostat is the problem. If thermostats can’t get a proper read on the temperature, they may keep your AC running longer than necessary. 

Limit Heat Conversion

Heat conversion occurs when the sunlight that hits your windows becomes heat that gets trapped in your home. This can raise your indoor temperature by several degrees, causing your AC to run longer.

A low-cost tip that can make a huge difference is limiting heat conversion by shutting your blinds or curtains during the day. If you don’t love the idea of closing off all-natural light, at least close your window treatments on south-facing windows during the peak heat of the day (usually between noon and four PM).

Get a Huffman AC Tune-Up from Guy’s 

How long should your AC run? The typical AC runs for 10 to 15 hours per day in the summer, although a lot of factors can influence how hard your AC has to work to cool your home. The best thing you can do to ensure comfort while keeping costs low is to call a professional HVAC company.

Guy’s Air Conditioning and Heating has been providing heating and cooling services in Huffman and surrounding areas for 35 years. We’re licensed, bonded, insured, and have the expertise to work on all makes and models. Contact us for a free estimate on your AC tune up.