How Many Degrees Can an Air Conditioner Cool?

By: Brian Schutt  |  July 6, 2021

“How many degrees can an air conditioner cool?” We get this question a lot!

During the summer, crazy hot temperatures can put stress on you and stress on your air conditioner. We’ve received a litany of phone calls from homeowners frustrated with their air conditioning system’s limited capacity to keep up with the heat outside.  So, first thing, know that you’re not alone.

how many degrees can an air conditioner cool

How Many Degrees Can an Air Conditioner Cool

Second point, there’s likely nothing wrong with your system.  While it seems abnormal for your house to be 77 degrees when it’s set for 71, a sustained high temperature is also abnormal.  Your A/C is sized for what the temperature is likely to be in the summer, and as our climate averages indicate, we’re traditionally in the mid 80’s.  If the temperature gets into the 90s, your air conditioner will have a harder time even if it is functioning properly. That’s because your air conditioner is designed to cool a maximum of 15-20 degrees from the temperature outside.  Pretty simple math.  If it’s 100 outside, and you’re not getting below 80 inside, your A/C is probably still doing it’s job.

This is an unfortunate reality, but is important to understand. If your system is not cooling to where you’d hope, first consider the outdoor temperature. Then check to see if the system is running and if cool air is blowing in your home. If everything seems to be in order, but it’s just really hot outside, your system is probably fine. If any of the above is not true, your system may need ac repair. That’s a great time to give us a call!


What You Can Do

There’s little you can do to impact how hot it is outside your home, apart from planting shade trees and waiting a decade.  What you can do is try to prevent that hot air from getting inside. These tips will help cool your home a little if the AC can’t keep up with extreme temperatures:

  • Keep your blinds down during the day
  • Wait until it’s cooler outside to do laundry and the dishwasher
  • Consider grilling outside, to prevent the hot oven air from heating up your home
  • Set your thermostat higher, so your A/C gets a break
  • Change your filter, today
  • Cut back any shrubs around your A/C condenser
  • Spray down condenser with hose (cottonwood and other debris tends to collect over the summer)
  • Don’t close off too many vents, your system needs to dispense air without too much pressure

Why You Need to Call Us

Like any mechanical system, your air conditioner needs to be maintained.  The majority of emergency service calls we’ve received this summer could have been prevented with maintenance in the spring. If you’ve been lucky enough to stave off an emergency, you should consider having your system cleaned and checked for proper refrigerant levels. Keep the coils clean and the refrigerant levels correct won’t necessarily make it cooler in your home, but it will likely prevent your system from failing.

Join our Preventative Maintenance Program to keep your system up and running smoothly all year. You’ll get two visits annually to do maintenance on your AC and furnace, respectively.

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