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Am I Using My Air Conditioner Too Much?


While staying comfortable through the warmer months is critical, it’s also important to make sure you aren’t pushing your air conditioner to break down prematurely. Using your AC too much can cost you more than just your comfort: It can lead to expensive repairs and unexpected replacements due to increased stress on your system.

Read on to find out if you’re using your AC too much and what you can do to address the problem sooner rather than later.

How Many Hours Should My Air Conditioner Run Per Day?

The recommended number of hours to run your air conditioner depends on the type of unit you have. In general, most cooling specialists recommend the following:

System Type Recommended Daily Hours of Operation

Central AC

8 hours

Window AC

12 hours

Portable AC

16 hours

 

What Are the Disadvantages of Constantly Running My Air Conditioner?

Many homeowners mistakenly believe it’s okay to leave their systems running all day. This is partly because an air conditioner that runs for one hour uses more energy than one that operates for much longer. However, that doesn’t mean running your system all day is good for your air conditioner.

Running your air conditioner at all times can have many consequences, including:

  • Increased energy costs
  • Shortened system life span
  • Larger problems with your AC, such as frozen evaporator coils

Why Is My Air Conditioner Always Running?

In some cases, an air conditioner may run continuously for other reasons. This is usually caused by the one or more of the following:

1. Incorrect Size

You must select the right sized air conditioner for your living space for it to work properly. A system that’s too small for the home will run constantly without making a difference in your comfort level. This means poorer comfort levels and higher energy bills as your system works nonstop to no avail.

2. Improper Maintenance

Homeowners should change their air filters at least once every 90 days to promote proper AC functionality and enhanced airflow. It’s also critical to schedule annual air conditioning maintenance before the summer to help ensure your system can meet your comfort needs. Failure to address your system’s maintenance needs can make your unit run more often and less efficiently.      

3. Restricted Airflow

Sometimes the air conditioner keeps running because something is blocking airflow from the system. This could be an issue with the blower, or something could physically block the air vents. Check your vent registers to ensure they are open and allow air to flow freely through your ductwork.

4. Inadequate Insulation

If your home doesn’t have enough insulation, the hot air from outside can easily find its way into your living spaces, making it more difficult for your air conditioner to satisfy your comfort demands.

When the heat from outside is constantly interfering with your indoor comfort, your air conditioner works harder and longer in an effort to achieve comfort. This can cause your system to run at all hours of the day as it competes against sub-par insulation.

How To Give My Air Conditioner a Break

There are several things homeowners can do to help give their air conditioners a needed break during the summer, including:

  • Ceiling fans: Using ceiling fans to promote air circulation is a great way to stay comfortable without relying on an air conditioner.
  • Smart thermostats: Installing a smart or programmable thermostat lets you control when your AC operates and when it doesn’t.
  • Annual maintenance: Scheduling annual air conditioning maintenance is the best way to protect against continuous system operation and costly cooling expenses.

If it’s been over one year since your last air conditioning maintenance appointment, contact the cooling technicians at Waldrop Plumbing – Heating – Air.

Schedule AC maintenance by calling (864) 536-0887 today.

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