Nowadays, there is no harm in letting your AC run constantly for 24 hours a day. Modern AC units are designed to keep your house cool throughout the day without any concerns, and nothing is better than blasting your home with cool air during the hot summer months. Since your AC requires energy to turn on, it can actually be more efficient when you leave it on – even when you leave your home for errands.
When to Turn Off Your Air Conditioner
If you speak to your friends or family members or search the internet, you will find different opinions about when you should turn off your AC. However, it’s advisable always to turn it off when you’re not at home. This switch helps minimize the cost on your electricity bills and the wear and tear of the AC unit. Therefore, if you plan to be away from home for more than four hours a day, you should turn off the AC during those times.
Furthermore, you should turn off the AC when you open the windows. Opening windows during spring can help boost the indoor air quality within your home. If you plan on opening the windows for extended periods, you should turn off the AC to conserve energy since the conditioned air will just leave the house through the windows. Lastly, you should turn off the AC when the weather is nice enough that your house doesn’t require any air conditioning.
What Happens After Turning Off the AC?
Air conditioners are massive and complex machines that you shouldn’t turn on and off like a hairdryer. They consume a lot of energy to start up. Besides, they are designed to be more efficient when consistently running at full speed. They offer the best temperatures within your house during this time while dehumidifying the air. Turning the AC on and off frequently forces it to run at lower speeds, which can be worse for you since you’ll have a hot home and a massive electricity bill. Besides, the constant changing exerts more strain on the unit, decreasing its durability and resulting in frequent repairs and replacements.
When to Leave Your Air Conditioner On
If you’d like to avoid AC replacements, you shouldn’t turn off your AC when going out for short periods. It saves you money to leave the AC on since it consumes more energy when starting up. Furthermore, you shouldn’t turn off your AC when it’s too cold inside. Instead, you should adjust the temperatures and leave the AC running.
How Long an AC Compressor Runs
Even if your AC runs 24 hours a day, the compressor doesn’t stay on the entire time. It goes on and off after achieving the optimal room temperatures. Therefore, you should consider the running time of your AC to be just when the compressor is on.
The compressor consumes around 90% to 95% of power for the entire AC unit. Therefore, even when your AC capacity is correct based on your home size, the compressor might run for 70% to 80% of the time. That’s around 16 to 19 hours daily. Keep in mind that the time the compressor stays on increases during the hot summer months to about 90% to 100%.
Factors That Can Increase the Compressor Run Time
If you own an undersized air conditioner, the compressor will never turn off. That’s because the AC will keep on trying to lower the temperature in your home. Therefore, it’s advisable to get a professional heating and cooling services to ensure that you find the right size AC system for your home.
On the other hand, the compressor might stay on during peak summer times. The AC will stay on to continuously achieve the desired room temperatures. Your compressor can also run frequently when you set the thermostat too low, which will cause the AC to run longer to achieve the set temperatures.
Why Your Air Conditioner Is Always Running
Many factors might cause your AC to run for extended periods. Below are a few of these factors.
The Unit Condition
Your AC ages like everything other appliance. Therefore, when you take good care of the AC, it can run and operate efficiently. This care can even increase its lifespan, saving you money in the long run. However, when you neglect your AC, it won’t cool your home as you’d like, and it might remain on for most of the day. In optimal conditions, the compressor can run for about 15-minute intervals throughout the day. If the compressor stays on for longer, this can be a sign that your AC needs maintenance. A neglected AC is also bad for your electricity bills.
A refrigerant leak can be another reason why your AC is always running. The AC should never run out of refrigerant. If it does, the coils will likely create an icy buildup, thus disrupting the 15-minute cycle. Instead, the AC will take longer to cool the house, and it can leave you in the heat for some time. In case you notice a puddle or ice formation under the AC, it’s most likely a refrigerant leak. You should contact your heating and cooling specialist for an immediate solution.
Your home needs proper insulation all year round. Good insulation helps keep warmth during the winter and cool during the summer. If the house isn’t properly insulated, your AC will work harder to meet the desired temperatures. Besides, it will take longer to cool your home, meaning that the AC will stay on longer.
Your Home Size
A bigger house will take longer to cool, especially if you have a small AC. Therefore, to decrease the AC run time, you should place the AC strategically to only cool the rooms in use. Furthermore, you should get the right size AC for the house. This ensures that the AC will run for shorter intervals, thus more efficiently cooling your home. You can also close off doors and dampers to redirect air to specific rooms around the house.
A clogged air filter can force your AC to run for longer. Most homeowners forget to frequently clean or change the AC air filter. This can lead to debris and dirt buildup, affecting the airflow. For your AC to cool efficiently, you need to frequently clean the air filter and to change it at least once a year.
Reputable Heating and Air Conditioning Services
At Polar Air & Heating, Inc., we have been offering high-quality services since 1998. Las Vegas, NV can get extremely hot during the summer and relatively cold during the winter. We aim to provide reliable heating and cooling systems for your homes and businesses. Our business is also BBB accredited, and we can offer a low-price guarantee on different pieces of equipment. You can contact us 24/7, and to make payment easy, we offer flexible financing options. We have highly experienced technicians who can perform repairs and install new systems.
Give Polar Air & Heating, Inc. a call today to help you keep cool in Las Vegas this season.