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Should I Run My AC Unit All Day?

TechXpert verified by Ken Kontra

It's a good idea to let the AC cycle on and off as needed throughout the day. Whether you should run your AC unit all day comes down to comfort vs. cost. Leaving your AC on all the time means it will consume more energy and cost you more. Instead, you can consider some creative ways to keep you both cool and save you money at the same time. Some people like to turn the AC off and open the windows overnight for fresh air. In that case, close the windows and set the thermostat to the desired cooling temperature by mid morning. This way the system doesn't need to work as hard to maintain the comfort level within the home.

Efficient Running Cycles

Your AC unit’s run time depends on its design, cycles, and the thermostat input. A standard single-stage AC unit should have two to three cycles an hour to maintain your set temperature. Generally, each cycle should last 15 to 20 minutes. If your AC is cycling more than this, it could be short-cycling, which can place a heavy burden on your unit.

You can help keep your AC cycling efficiently by turning it off once in a while so it has the chance to conserve energy and last longer.

Avoid Breaking a Sweat

Like most home appliances, it’s best to let your AC rest now and then to avoid a sudden and surprising system failure. In the end, you want to make sure your AC system doesn’t break too much of a sweat when it’s up and running.

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