If you live in an area with a hot or humid climate you probably have or are looking to buy an air conditioner. The most accessible, hassle-free type of air conditioner is a window AC.
They can be purchased and installed yourself and require no structural alterations that can be tricky, especially if you rent.
One of the most common questions people ask when purchasing a window air conditioner is: can you leave a window air conditioner on 24/7? The short answer is yes you can, in fact, a lot of window air conditioners are designed for continuous use.
What Is A Window Air Conditioner?
If you are new to the world of air conditioners perhaps you are wondering what a window air conditioner is.
Simply speaking, a window air conditioner, sometimes called a room air conditioner, is the most basic form of air conditioning system you can buy.
The unit sits in your window, secured with brackets, many of which do not require screws anymore. Once installed, the unit uses a combination of fans to move and cool the air in your home.
How Long Can You Keep A Window Air Conditioner Running?
Provided that your air conditioning unit is in good condition and is correctly installed and well maintained, you can leave it running 24/7 with no problems. There should be no issues with overheating of the fans as they are often designed with continuous use in mind.
Most air conditioning users do not run their units continuously for numerous reasons, but should you want to during a particularly hot summer, there are no safety reasons to prevent you from doing so.
Is It Safe To Run A Window Air Conditioner 24/7?
It is perfectly safe to run a window air conditioner 24/7 should you choose to do so, although it is not very economical or environmentally friendly.
If your air conditioner is showing signs of disrepair either structurally or internally, it would be sensible to only run the unit whilst you are present in the building and only when absolutely necessary.
It is important that you make sure your air conditioning unit is well maintained each year to ensure safe usage.
Why You Shouldn’T Run A Window Air Conditioner 24/7
There are a few reasons why people choose to not run their window air conditioning units 24/7 despite the fact that they are designed to be able to handle it.
Increased Energy Consumption
Running a window air conditioner continuously requires a lot of energy. Most window air conditioners use a start-stop cycle to maintain a continuous temperature set by the user.
The constant switch between running at full throttle and turning off requires huge energy consumption. This translates into skyrocketing electricity bills that no one wants.
It is better for your wallet to turn the air conditioning unit off after a few hours of cooling.
Everyone knows how bad air conditioners are for the environment, not only do they require a huge amount of energy to function, they often use cooling agents too. These cooling agents, such as HFCs and CFCs are known to increase the holes in the Ozone layer.
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t use air conditioners at all in the name of protecting the planet, but that isn’t practical or feasible for many people.
Instead, limiting our usage of air conditioning units is the best course of action. Once your window air conditioner has cooled your home to an ideal temperature, turn it off until it is needed again.
Continuous running of a window air conditioning unit prevents it from working as efficiently as possible.
Not only does the dehumidifying effect of the unit decrease with 24/7 use, but the filtration system that removes allergens from the air can also become blocked sooner. This means that more regular maintenance will be required to keep your unit in good condition.
Reduced AC Lifespan
Much like any electrical appliance, window air conditioners are prone to suffering wear and tear. The more your air conditioner is used, the more likely it is to become vulnerable to malfunctions and broken components.
To prolong the lifespan of your window air conditioner, give it a rest daily.
Tips To Safely Run A Window Air Conditioner 24/7
Here are a few tips to ensure that you are running your air conditioner safely.
Pick The Right Size
Choosing the right sized air conditioner for your home is crucial in being able to run your air conditioner 24/7.
If your unit is too big for your home, it will constantly start-stop throughout the day which will increase the amount of energy used by the unit and increase your electricity bill significantly.
If your unit is too small for your home its fans and motor will have to work extra hard to be able to reach the desired temperature which could considerably shorten the lifespan of your unit.
Install A Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat connected to your window air conditioner can help reduce the energy consumption of your unit.
Setting a reasonable temperature on the thermostat can allow your air conditioner to cycle less throughout the day, using less energy and protecting your unit’s lifespan.
The temperature on your thermostat can be adjusted for times when you are out of the house to decrease the amount of cycling even more.
Ensure that the window you place your air conditioner in is suitable to cool the entire house. Try to avoid placing it in a room that often has the door closed to get the most out of it.
It is also important to make sure that your window air conditioner is not placed in a window with foliage or other obstruction too close. This can affect the efficiency of your air conditioner.
Check Filters Regularly
With 24/7 running your air conditioner’s filters can become clogged quickly. It is important to check them regularly to keep your unit working properly.
It is perfectly possible and safe to run your window air conditioner 24/7. However, there are important environmental and economical factors to take into consideration as well as increased maintenance checks to carry out.