How Long Should AC Run Normally? What You Should Know

How Long Should AC Run Normally? What You Should Know

by | May 16, 2022 | Air Conditioning, Blog | 1 comment

Nothing beats a blast of cool air as you walk back in the door during these hot summer months.

Nothing, however, could be worse than an unexpectedly high electricity bill—or, even worse, an unexpectedly high air conditioner repair bill. Is it okay to have the air conditioner on all day? Is it prohibitively expensive?

An air conditioner can be more efficient when left on, even when we go for errands, because of the energy it takes to start. It is usually a better idea to turn it off when you can leave it off for several hours, such as during the workday or at night. Simply adjust the thermostat if all else fails!

During normal conditions, how long should the air conditioner run?

Your air conditioner should only run for fifteen to twenty minutes under normal conditions. It should take no more than 20 minutes for the inside temperature to reach your selected setting. The length of time the air conditioner runs to cool a room or the entire house is referred to as the AC cycle.

The thermostat will then turn off the air conditioner (switch to fan mode). Until the temperature increases above your setting, the air conditioner takes a break. The thermostat will then signal the air conditioner to start up again, and the cycle will begin again.

How long does the compressor run during the day?

If you run your air conditioner 24 hours a day, it does not necessarily mean it will operate the entire time. In non-inverter air conditioners, the compressor cycles on and off after the desired room temperature is reached. The compressor is running for the duration of the running time of an air conditioner.

In addition, cooling occurs only when the compressor is functioning.

The compressor alone utilizes 90-95 percent of the AC system’s total power. For moderate summers (not too hot), the compressor may run for 70-80% of the time if your AC capacity is appropriate for your room size. This equates to 16-19 hours every day. This is true for both window and split air conditioners.

In the summer, however, when the temperature outdoors is too high, the compressor will run for over 90-100 percent of the time during the day.

Calculating the running duration of an inverter air conditioner over a day is tricky. However, if the external temperature is moderately high, the compress runtime will almost certainly be shorter than 24 hours.

Factors that increase the compressor run time

1. An air conditioner that is too small

When you use an air conditioner with a cooling capacity that is less than what your room requires, it is considered to be undersized.

When an air conditioner is undersized, the compressor will run continuously most of the time without turning off. It will not be able to reach the stated room temperature.

2. Extremely hot weather

During the peak summer months, when the temperatures are scorching the AC will have to work harder to keep up with the increased demand for cooling. To achieve the desired room temperature, the compressor will work continually.

3. Set the thermostat to a low setting.

If the air conditioner’s thermostat is set to a low setting, the desired temperature within the room will be achieved. To reach the desired temperature, your air conditioner will have to operate longer.

What if My AC Won’t Stop Running?

An air conditioner that never appears to turn off isn’t always a sign that it’s broken. In the summer, when the temperature consistently exceeds 80 degrees, the air conditioner operates more frequently to keep up. It’s all okay, and some of the better air conditioning systems can run all day if necessary.

However, running your air conditioner nonstop without a break is still a bad choice.

For example, your electricity bills will be sky-high. Also, while your air conditioner isn’t broken now, overworking it can lead to a malfunction in the future. If you let the parts run continuously without pausing, they’ll wear down faster than you think, and you’ll require repairs or a replacement sooner than you think.

What if Your AC is Short Cycles?

Let’s take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum. What happens if the AC runs for too little time? It’s also a huge problem if your air conditioner is only active for ten minutes or less.

The compressor can be overworked by a unit that starts and stops several times per hour. If brief cycling is allowed to continue unabated, your compressor will quickly wear down. Furthermore, because the startup cycle consumes the most energy in your AC’s operations, you should expect your electricity bills to increase.

Again, an inappropriately sized air conditioner is to blame. If the unit is too large this time, it will cool your home too quickly, resulting in short cycling. Short cycling can also be caused by electrical and wiring faults, damaged coils, and drain clogs.

Should I Turn Off My Air Conditioner When I Go Out?

The nicest part of the working day is coming home to an icy wave in the middle of July. Is it, however, prudent to leave the air conditioning on for eight hours or more while we’re out and about? Simply stated, it’s preferable to turn it off in terms of energy consumption. That, of course, isn’t the whole tale. There are a few factors to consider.

1. Whether or not you should leave the air conditioner on depends on how long you’ll be gone

Consider pushing a large shopping cart. It takes a lot of effort to get it moving, but once it’s moving, it doesn’t take much to keep it moving. The same may be said about air conditioning. Dropping the temperature ten degrees requires a lot more labor, a lot more electricity, and a lot more wear and tear than keeping the temperature ten degrees lower for the same period. If you’re only going to be gone for a few minutes, it may be better for your AC and your wallet to leave it on.

2. You can turn off the air conditioner at night

Although it’s obvious to turn off the air conditioner, at least a little when you’re gone all day, the greatest time to let the air conditioner rest is at night. Not only is it cooler outside (maybe chilly enough to crack the windows! ), but we also produce far less heat when we sleep. We need less help staying cool under the sheets than we do when we’re rushing through our day.

Bottom line

Although running the air conditioner is never free, it can be more efficient than you might imagine. Use it when you are at home and switch it off when you are not. Also, it is important that you choose correct size of the AC for your home so that it can function properly and efficiently.




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