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Quick Cool on Air Conditioner does not cool quickly

By on April 22, 2016

Coming into a room after being through a hot weather outside, most people would want to cool down their rooms quickly. What many people do is that they turn on the air conditioner in the room in quick cool mode thinking that it will cool the room quickly. But does the quick cool mode really cool a room quickly? Does the motor in the air conditioner run faster when you start it in the quick cool mode? It does NOT. So why is it called quick cool? It is mostly because in this mode the Air Conditioner runs at the lowest temperature and with highest fan speed.

Air Conditioners are designed for a cooling capacity

When we buy air conditioners we look for tonnage of the air conditioner. The tonnage of the air conditioner represents its cooling capacity in BTU/hr or British Thermal Units per hour. BTU is a measure of heat and the tonnage of air conditioner is its capacity of removing a certain amount of heat from the room in an hour. And as the tonnage does not vary (unless you buy an inverter technology air conditioner), the heat removal rate of the air conditioner does not vary. So no matter what the setting on the air conditioner, the rate at which the air conditioner removes the heat from the room remains the same.

Role of Thermostat in the cooling process

The thermostat of the air conditioner ensures that the compressor of the air conditioner shuts down when the room temperature has reached at the level set in the air conditioner. So if an air conditioner is removing heat at a certain rate from the room and the temperature of the room reaches the level desired, the thermostat shuts down the compressor so that no further cooling happens. The thermostat keeps monitoring the room temperature and if it goes above the level set, then it switches on the compressor again so that the room is cooled again and the temperature is maintained at the level set.

Normal mode vs Quick cool mode

The difference between Normal mode and quick cool mode is the temperature setting of the air conditioner and the fan speed. The compressor runs at the same speed removing the heat from the room at the same rate (based on tonnage). When you set the air conditioner on quick cool mode, it works a little extra (or takes a little extra electricity) to get the room to a lower temperature. But it does not do it fast. The time the air conditioner takes to reach 16 degrees (as the setting may be in quick cool mode) is always more than the time it will take to reach 24 degrees (ideal room temperature that you may set in normal mode).

Why does quick cool feels quicker?

It’s all in the mind. Most air conditioners reach cutoff levels (temperature set in thermostat) in 4-5 mins (in case the air conditioner is sized properly). The time it takes from 24 degrees to 16 degrees will be hardly a few minutes. And just because 16 degrees is much cooler than 24 degrees, it feels as if the room has cooled quickly. It also feels so because the air conditioner fan speed is high in quick cool mode.

Keeping Air Conditioner in quick cool setting consumes lot more electricity than keeping it at a normal (ideal) temperature of 24 degrees and thus it is better to avoid quick cool mode in case you are worried about high electricity bills.

Here is a short video for tips to buy the best air conditioner in India


About the Author:
Abhishek Jain is an Alumnus of IIT Bombay with almost 10 years of experience in corporate before starting Bijli Bachao in 2012. His passion for solving problems moved him towards Energy Sector and he is keen to learn about customer behavior towards Energy and find ways to influence the same towards Sustainability. .