Background absorption has been studied for an YLF:10%Yb3+ crystal at different intensities at room temperature. The cooling efficiency was measured by both the DLT (Differential Luminescence Thermometry) and TLS (Thermal Lens Spectroscopy) methods. Results show that background and coolant absorption saturate differently at room temperature. A cw Ti:sapphire pump beam was tuned from 920 nm to 1040 nm with an intensity range from 100 W/cm2 to 20,000 W/cm2. Changes of temperature and thermal strength were measured by DLT and TLS methods, respectively. The cooling efficiencies with these approaches at different wavelengths were then compared based on theoretical fits to the experimental results. The cooling efficiency at 1000 nm was found to be independent of pump intensity. There, the saturation of intensity of background absorption had the same value as that of Ytterbium. The cooling efficiency below 1000 nm dropped at elevated intensity. In this range, Ytterbium absorption saturated easily, reducing the cooling ion absorption, while the absorption of background impurities did not saturate as much as Ytterbium. Consequently the cooling efficiency was lowered. For wavelengths above 1000 nm, increases in the pump intensity led to improved cooling efficiency. In this range, background absorption saturated more easily than absorption of coolant ions and parasitic heating was reduced, leading to higher cooling efficiency. Thus we have devised a method of measuring differential absorption saturation and determined its effect on laser cooling at room temperature. Saturation effects of this kind have important consequences in the heat equation for radiation-balanced lasers.