How Many Hours Should an Air Conditioner Run Every Day? An air conditioner is an electric appliance specifically made to maintain a particular room temperature all day long.
You might have probably heard some rumors about the AC being likely to melt or break down if run seamlessly for 24 hours.
This article has been developed to dispel that wrong opinion of air conditioners. In a nutshell, there is no harm in running your AC all day long.
As a matter of fact, air conditioners have been manufactured to keep rooms cool throughout the day. You can leave it on for an entire week and the AC will not groan under stress as long as there’s an adequate supply of power and it is well-maintained.
How long the compressor runs in a day
Here’s something cool you need to know about air conditioners. If you turn on the cooling appliance and let it run for 24 hours, it doesn’t really mean the AC will run actively the entire time.
ACs can be inverters or non-inverter and they are powered by their compressors. Generally, non-inverter air conditioners have compressors that shut off and come back on at different cycles once they achieve the required room temperature.
An air conditioner’s running time is basically the time period during which the compressor is running. In addition, cooling only occurs when the compressor is operational.
Thus, the compressor bears the bulk of the AC power as it alone uses 90-95% of the power of the entire cooling appliance.
Once you have the right AC capacity in relation to your room size, then your AC’s compressor may run for 70-80% of the time during moderate dry seasons or summertime. This translates to roughly 16-19 hours daily and should work for both split units and window ACs.
However, for climates with higher outdoor temperatures, the compressor should run for close to 90-100% of the time throughout the day.
On the other hand, for inverter air conditioners, calculating their running time across the day is a bit difficult.
However, one thing certain is that the compressor’s runtime will not be up to 24 hours especially if the temperature outside is moderate-high.
Key factors that increase a compressor’s run time
- Low-capacity ACs
- Thermostat set to low
- High outdoor temperature
1. Low capacity ACs
One of the things that ramp up a compressor’s run time is by using an AC with a cooling capacity that is lower than the requirements of your room. We refer to air conditioners in this situation as being undersized.
If your make use of an undersized AC, then your compressor will likely run non-stop without switching off. It will work tirelessly to try and reach the set room temperature and constantly fail at it.
2. Thermostat set to low
You’ll need to make sure that the expected temperature for the room is accurately set. If it is set to low on the AC’s thermostat, the appliance will run for a longer time in a bid to attain the temperature.
3. High outdoor temperature
In dry seasons or regions with extremely hot weather, the load on the AC to cool will be higher. This means that the compressor will run for several hours as it tries to get the required room temperature.
Disadvantages of running the AC for 24 hours in a day
- Uses up more power and electricity
- Requires more frequent servicing
- Tends to degrade faster
1. Uses up more power and electricity
Generally, the AC is a high-power consuming appliance and although recent advancements in cooling efficiency with the use of inverter technology have helped to lower electricity costs a bit, the appliance still consumes a massive chunk of power.
Thus, the longer you run your air conditioner, the more power it draws, hence, higher electricity costs. It helps if you can calculate the power and electricity consumption for your air conditioner. This way, you get to know how long you can afford to keep your AC running.
2. Requires more frequent servicing
Since you’ll be running the AC for longer hours, you’ll have to prepare to service the unit more frequently.
Basically, while it is running, the air conditioner (outdoor and indoor units) will accumulate a lot more dust and debris.
Thus, you’ll be required to get them clean and properly maintained regularly. You will likely also need to change its air filters in a short period. All of these may add up to the cost of maintenance.
3. Tends to degrade faster
Generally, all electronics and appliances have a definite lifespan. Some operate optimally for longer than others.
The air conditioner is no different. With non-stop running, its indoor filters will get clogged and require frequent cleaning. The outdoor unit is no exception as it will also accumulate dust and debris.
In fact, there will likely be more dust accumulation within the condenser unit as well. All of these foreign elements tend to degrade the life of the condenser coils.
And if you run the AC for 24 hours every day, it will likely degrade faster than that those ACs that are used less frequently.
The truth is that there is no danger in running your air conditioner 24/7. However, you may want to lower the power it consumes to save cost and keep it more efficient.
This is why we advise you to run the AC at an ideal temperature. Generally, setting the thermostat to 24-26 degrees Celsius will lower your power consumption without necessarily taking the comfort levels away.