It’s a common misconception that air conditioners should practically be running in the boiling hot summer no matter what. But even though that’s idealistic, it’s not exactly realistic due to a number of reasons.
Why Continuously Running Your AC Is A Bad Idea
First of all, if your AC is running consistently, you’re shortening its lifespan to a great degree. With the parts continually running, they will wear out a lot quicker, resulting in bigger repair bills and a replacement unit sooner than anticipated.
But the most glaring disadvantage of constantly running an air conditioning unit is that it will waste too much of your home’s electricity. The more your unit runs the more power it uses, and the steeper the utility bills become, which is the last thing you need. You’ll be saving a lot more cash by turning off the air conditioner, which can be costly to run when it’s not needed.
It’s especially frustrating to leave your AC running especially when you’re not even home. But this is something that people usually do as they don’t want to return to a warm and humid house. However, it doesn’t even take that long for some of the modern units of today to cool a house down. You should develop a habit of turning the thermostat of your HVAC up when you step out of your house, and then back down when you return.
Another thing to remember is that you shouldn’t leave your AC running at night, especially when you go to bed. You should always turn the thermostat up before going to bed, as this will still cool your entire house as you slumber. It also prevents wear and tears on your unit and saves up on energy bills as well. Leaving your air conditioner running for too long can lead to issues such as blown electrical components that can subsequently leak smoke into your home. Read more about that on AHWA.
So how long should an AC run? Let’s find out together now, shall we?
How Long Should An Ac Be Running When We’re Home?
We understand that you want to get out of the heat, but you need to be realistic about how long you should keep your unit running so that it doesn’t succumb to wear and tear or pushes up your overall monthly electric bill. The general rule of thumb is to ensure that if you’re living in an area that experiences mild temperatures, your AC must run between 15 to 20 minutes at a time. This is the ideal run time to keep your entire house cool and to help you live comfortably.
There are other factors that can also affect the duration of your AC’s operation, such as:
Outside temperature: areas with milder temperatures must ensure that air conditioners stay no longer than 15 or 20 minutes. The reason why this is the case is so that the temperature of your house can be brought down. But it will take longer to do so if temperatures outside are hotter.
Thermostat temperature: likewise, your AC will take much more time to cool the house down if the temperature of the thermostat is kept lower. The lower the thermostat’s temperature, the much longer it will take to cool your house down.
The state of the air conditioner: if your AC is kept in great condition, it will much easier to cool your house down to the temperature you prefer. Without the proper care, however, the parts that are responsible for your unit’s cooling will age and the filters will be clogged with debris and dirt. As a result, your house will take much longer to cool down and this will put even greater stress and wear on the entire system.
AC unit size: an air conditioner’s size bears great importance. Before installing a brand new AC for your home, you need to ensure that it’s the right size. For example, if the unit is too big, then it won’t be able to run for long. If the unit is too small, it will continue to run as it doesn’t have the capacity to cool the house fast enough.
Quality of AC’s insulation: Another essential feature that your house requires in order to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter is all-year-round insulation. Without proper insulation, most of the air that you’re attempting to cool using the hard-earned money you spent on your AC unit is being leaked outside, letting it all go to waste. Not only that, but it will take even longer for your home to cool, evidently forcing your system to put more effort and ultimately increasing your utility bills.
The size of your house: If you have a smaller air conditioning unit for a larger house, for instance, you will find that it will take a lot longer for you to experience the desired temperatures you want. The only way to reduce the runtime of your unit is to place the air conditioner in rooms you only want to cool. For instance, instead of cooling the guest room, you can redirect that air towards your own bedroom.
Be Wary Of Short Cycling
How long should AC run per cycle? One way to maintain the temperature of your room is to ensure your AC cycles 2 to 3 times every hour. In mid weather, a cycle should last for 10 to 15 minutes. However, there is a problem that you should be aware of and that is short cycling. This is when your AC’s compressor is constantly turning on and off while running.
This increases the wear on the system and further endangers the compressor, resulting in a dead AC years before its time to make a switch. But if you don’t take care of this problem soon, you’re going to be paying even higher electrical bills because the startup cycle uses up the most amount of power than any of your air-conditioner’s operations. The only way to fix this is to call the repairman pronto.
It can be tempting to run an air conditioning unit all day long, but it’s not practical as it will cause your system to wear and tear and result in larger utility bills. That’s why you need to ensure that it’s running no more than 15 to 20 minutes and be mindful of other factors that could affect its run time.