Should You Give Your Air Conditioner a Break?

Is it okay to leave your air conditioner on all day or should you give the unit a break from time to time?

ACs are designed to be able to operate 24/7 – you wouldn’t have to give your air conditioner a break if it’s operating correctly, is clean, and is not set at the lowest temperature. In fact, the unit will cycle on and off by itself a few times per hour.

Should You Give Your Air Conditioner a Break?

You don’t have to give your air conditioner a break. These cooling units are made to be able to run 24/7 without overheating.

However, that does not mean that your AC is not going to break down if you leave it on all the time. Setting the thermostat way too low will make your air conditioner operate at full capacity all the time, and that would certainly contribute to the unit’s wear and tear.

Constantly running an air-con that hasn’t been serviced or cleaned for years is also not a great idea as the unit might simply go bad.

In a nutshell, giving an air conditioner a break is not a necessity, but if you want the equipment to serve you for long years, you should keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature, regularly inspect and clean the unit, and simply not use you when there isn’t such a need. 

Should I Give My Portable AC a Break?

You can leave your portable AC running all day. As long as you manage to change the filter and drain the unit in time, everything should be fine.

You might want to give the air conditioner a break if you’d like to avoid high energy bills, but when it comes to the operation of the actual unit – it can easily run non-stop for days.

Read: Why Window Air Conditioner All Lights Flashing And Beeping

How Long Should You Let Your AC Rest?

One of the main reasons why giving your air conditioner a rest might not be necessary is because these units operate in cycles. The equipment will cycle off a few times per hour and these periods can be considered the AC’s ‘resting time’.

However, if you have just turned your air-con off, then you have to give it at least 10 minutes before switching the unit back on. Turning the air conditioner on too fast might damage the motor or compressor.

Have a Question? Ask HVAC Technician

Click here to use the chatbox to speak with one of our technicians.
No in-home service calls. No appointments.

How Long Should AC Be Off Between Cycles?

A properly operating air conditioner usually runs for around 15-20 minutes and then cycles off for about 7-10 minutes. On extremely hot days, the unit might end up staying on for longer, but, in the majority of cases, your air conditioner will be having 2-3 full cycles in an hour.

Read: Why Air Conditioner Is Not Heating?

Why Does My AC Turn on Every 5 Minutes?

Short-cycling might be happening because:

  • The thermostat’s location is not right
  • The air-con is too small for your home
  • The thermostat has gone bad
  • There is an electrical issue
  • The condenser coils are dirty
  • Something is restricting the airflow (dirty filters, for example)
  • There is an issue with the run capacitor

Is It Better for AC to Run Constantly?

You wouldn’t want to leave your air conditioner running at full capacity all the time as this will decrease the lifespan of the equipment and drastically increase your electricity bills. 

However, there is nothing bad about leaving your air-con running constantly at a reasonable temperature in the summer.

If you are sure that your unit’s cooling capacity has not decreased, then you can certainly leave it on all day for your own comfort.

Read: Why Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air But Running?

Is It Cheaper to Run AC All the Time?

It might be cheaper to have your air-con on all the time, if:

  • Your house is properly insulated
  • You’re keeping the AC at around 78 degrees
  • You are sure that the whole system is working perfectly fine (the air filters are not clogged, the coils are clean, and so on)

A correctly operating air conditioner might not affect your electricity bills as much as a unit that is being constantly turned on and off. That is because an AC that has been turned off for a while would have to work a lot harder to reach the set temperature once you switch it on.

How Long Can I Run My Air Conditioner?

You can run your AC as long as you want, even 24/7. Simply make sure that all the components are working correctly and that the unit is clean.

Read: Why Air Conditioner Heat Mode Not Working?

How Long AC Should Run on Hot Day?

If it’s above 80 degrees outside, you can leave the air conditioner on all day for your own comfort. In such a case, the unit might end up running for longer than 15-20 minutes before cycling off as it would take the cooling equipment more time to reach the set temperature.

How Many Hours Should AC Run Per Day?

Running the air-con for 8 hours per day during the hotter months might be enough to keep you comfortable. 

If you do not want to pay too much for the electricity, then you might want to consider switching the AC on an hour before the hottest time of the day, leaving the unit on for 2 hours, and then switching it off. This should be enough to help you keep the house at a relatively comfortable temperature.

Is It OK to Leave Air Conditioner on All Day?

Air conditioners can easily run for the whole day without overheating. Do bear in mind, however, that this certainly will affect your energy bill and the environment.

Can You Run a Portable AC Unit All Day?

You can leave a portable air conditioner on all day, but don’t forget to drain it. In high humidity areas, you might have to drain the AC every few hours and in other areas – once a day or so. 

Read: Why Window Air Conditioner Compressor Not Turning On?

Can I Overwork My Air Conditioner?

Even though air conditioners are capable of operating all day long, that does not mean that the cooling units can’t overwork.

This will, most likely, happen if you set the temperature way too low. In such a case, the AC would have to work at full capacity to try and reach the desired temperature and might end up not cycling off at all. 

How Do I Know If My AC Is Overworked?

There are a few tell-tale signs that you’re overworking your AC:

  • Recent increases in your energy bills
  • A decreased cooling capability of the unit
  • An increased humidity level inside the house
  • Leaks in the HVAC system
  • Hot and cold spots around the house
  • Strange noises coming from the cooling unit

What Is the Most Efficient Way to Run AC?

The Department of Energy suggests leaving the set temperature at around 78 F

Also, make sure to turn the fan mode in the AC on and use the ceiling fan, if you have one. This will help maximize the air conditioner’s cooling capacity. 

Is It Better to Turn AC Off at Night?

If the outside temperature drops at night, then you might not need to leave the air-con on.However, if it’s still relatively warm, even during the night, then you may want to consider leaving the AC on – you can increase the set temperature a bit. This will also help you keep the humidity level low.