Each air conditioner has a variety of settings you can use to adjust how often your air conditioner turns on and off. Each time an air conditioner turns on or off, it’s called a cycle. The more cycles an air conditioner is put through, the more wear and tear is placed on the motor and compressor.
There are many reasons you shouldn’t leave an air conditioner running around the clock, and it can also be a sign of problems in your cooling system.
Problems with 24/7 Usage
Increased Energy Bill
Having your air conditioner run continuously may keep your home cool and comfortable, but can also lead to much higher energy bills overall. It’s important to let your air conditioner cycle on and off normally to keep your energy costs in check.
Overall, an air conditioning unit will be the most energy demanding appliance in your home when used at its full capacity. Not allowing your air conditioner to cycle off can lead to an abundance of energy being lost.
Increased Chance of Breakdown
The longer your air conditioner runs without stopping, the more stress is placed on the motor, compressor and other components. Over time, this can lead to components breaking down much quicker leading to increased costs in repairs or replacements.
Reasons for Constant Running
Wrong Sized Unit
This is probably one of the main reasons for an air conditioner running continuously. If it is too small for the size of room you are trying to cool down, it will run continuously in an attempt to meet the temperature setting on your thermostat.
Since air conditioners can be found in a wide range of sizes, you should always try to match the size of the air conditioner with the cubic footage of the room or building you are cooling. When these two match, the efficiency of your air conditioner will be better and it will be able to cycle off properly.
Improper Thermostat Settings
Setting your thermostat to a reasonable temperature for the room is important. If you don’t set the thermostat properly, or have it set much too low, your air conditioner may struggle to keep the room at that specified low temperature.
Additionally, if the exterior temperature is extremely hot, an air conditioner may run excessively even if the thermostat is set properly. Having a thermostat set to auto mode can also help increase the likelihood of the air conditioner cycling on and off properly.
The coils in your air conditioner help maintain the temperature by absorbing heat and improving the speed at which it dissipates. Over time, coils will collect dirt, dust, and grime on the surface as air moves through the air conditioner.
This reduces the speed and efficiency of heat dissipation and leads to your air conditioner having to work harder to absorb and cool warm air. Staying on top of your regular or seasonal coil maintenance is important.