Ac is a powerful tool that can keep you cool and comfortable in the summer. However, running an air conditioner costs more than running other appliances such as lights and television sets. So, if your goal is to save on energy and keep cool in the summer, you might want to know how many hours per day ac should run.
Averagely, an air conditioner should run for about 10-20 minutes until it reaches the desired setting and turn itself off and recycles all day and night, with a minimum of two cycles required. How fast the unit reaches the desired temperature setting is affected by your home insulation, the climate of where you live, and the type of air conditioner you have.
So, before you know how many hours an air conditioner should run per day, you will have to determine how long the unit takes to reach your desired temperature setting, depending on the type of AC you have. You can do this by checking your air conditioner’s owner’s manual or contacting the manufacturer.
Factors Affecting How Many Hours You an AC Should Run Per Day
It is summertime, and the weather is getting hotter. So, you have decided to turn on your air conditioner to keep you cool. But why not run it continuously the whole day?
You shouldn’t run your air conditioner constantly because it can significantly increase your energy costs. Your AC unit consumes a lot of power, so leaving it on all the time will quickly add up to your electricity bill.
Another reason to avoid continuous use is that it can shorten the life of your air conditioner. All appliances wear down over time, and running your AC unit constantly will accelerate its deterioration. By contrast, if you only use it when you need it, you’ll get more years out of your air conditioner.
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So, how long should ac run each day to save on energy and keep you comfortable?
In general, you should run your AC for about 8-20 minutes per day to keep you comfortable. However, this number can vary depending on the type of AC unit, the size of the AC unit, the climate of where you live, the level of insulation in your home, and the efficiency of the AC unit.
1. Type of the Air Conditioner
There are three types of air conditioners- central AC, window AC, and portable AC. The amount of hours you should run an AC each day depends on the type of AC.
a. Central AC
A central AC cools down the entire house. It is more energy-efficient than other types of air conditioners, and thus, you do not need to run it for as many hours as different types of air conditioners. In general, you should run a central AC for about 8 hours per day to keep you comfortable.
b. Window AC
A window air conditioner cools down a specific room in your house. It is less energy efficient than a central AC, and thus, you need to run it for more hours than a central AC. In general, you should run a window AC for about 12 hours per day to keep you comfortable.
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c. Portable AC
A portable AC cools down a specific area or room. It is the least energy-efficient type of air conditioner, and thus, you need to run it for the most hours. In general, you should run a portable air conditioner for about 16 hours per day to keep you comfortable.
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2. Size of the Air Conditioner
The larger the air conditioner is, the more power it will use. An oversized AC unit can use as much as 1000W. And to estimate how long your AC unit should run, the first thing is to figure out which square feet of space you are cooling with your product. Knowing this information allows you to select the correct size for your home or business.
An air conditioning system running for an hour uses about twice as much energy as one operating continuously for 8 hours. If you have a 1500-watt AC unit that runs all day long, that’s 12 kWh per day just on your AC—much more than most appliances cost to operate in a day.
So instead of running air conditioning the entire day, only run it when you’re in the room. That is an hour in the morning and one to two hours in the evening for most people. This is a good model for homeowners with central AC systems.
3. The Climate of Where You Live
If you live in a climate where the weather is consistently hot, your AC unit will need to run more often than if you live in a cooler climate. In climates with hotter weather, running your AC unit for 3 to 4 hours throughout the day should keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
4. The Level of Your Home Insulation
The insulation level of your home also affects how long your AC unit should run each day. If you have poor insulation, then you will need to run your AC unit more often than someone who has better insulation in their home. An excellent way to tell if you have poor insulation is to check for proper ventilation and install appropriate insulation if needed.
5. The Air Conditioner Efficiency
If your air conditioner’s air filter is dirty, it can reduce your AC unit’s efficiency and cause it to run longer. Dirt on the coils of an AC unit causes a drop in efficiency, leading to increased energy usage and use. It can also cause a decrease in performance, significantly if the dirt build-up reduces airflow through the vents.
If you find that your AC runs longer than necessary when its air filter needs cleaning or replacement, then doing so will make it more efficient and cost-effective for you in the long run.
6. Air Conditioner Power
The power of the AC unit is measured using a metric called SEER, or Seasonal Energy-Efficiency Ratio. This number tells you how much cooling an air conditioner produces for every watt of electricity that it uses. The age of a system is one of its most significant influences on SEER.
The average system built in the 1990s features a SEER of 6, while systems built in the early 2000s are most often rated at 10. What’s more, all air conditioners manufactured from January 23, 2006, or afterward have a SEER of 13 or higher.
Is it okay for an air conditioner to run continuously?
No! Air conditioners are designed to run only when needed. Operating an air conditioner continuously is not more effective at cooling a home than setting the thermostat appropriately and running it as required for comfort. Continuous operation means there is a problem with the thermostat or the air conditioner itself.
How many BTUs do I need for my room?
To determine the BTUs needed for your room, you will need to calculate the room’s square footage and then multiply that by 20 BTUs per square foot. This number will give you the BTUs required to cool your space.
How can I save on energy costs when using my AC unit?
You can do several things to save on energy costs when using your AC unit. One is to make sure that the insulation in your home is adequate. Another is to regularly clean or replace the air filter in your AC unit. You can also adjust the thermostat to a comfortable temperature and use a programmable thermostat to save energy while you’re not home.