What is The Normal AC Running Cycle?

Learn about the normal AC running cycle and temperature. Trust Sandium for expert advice on air conditioners, including the best portable AC options for your needs.

Updated on Oct 23, 2023
5 min read
What is The Normal AC Running Cycle?

Many people worry their air conditioners are running for far too long while others are worried that they purchased a larger than required unit. The thing is that with so many options in the market, it can be difficult for you to find the right sized air conditioner that runs for a ‘normal’ time. Generally, air conditioners should not run for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time. But, there are a lot of other factors that determine an air conditioner’s run time.

1. Outside Temperature

Your air conditioner needs to run longer the hotter it is outside to reach the desired temperature. This is more common in areas with high humidity. You shouldn’t worry if your air conditioner runs for longer on hot days. As long as the vents are spewing out cool air, there is nothing to be alarmed about.

2. Thermostat Setting

Your air conditioner will need to run longer to achieve desired temperatures if you have the thermostat set really low. You can save a lot of electricity by adjusting the thermostat by a few degrees and decreasing the run time of your air conditioner. In most cases, you won’t even feel the difference in your comfort levels.

3. Air Conditioner’s Size

The size of your air conditioner is the biggest factor determining the run time. Air conditioners which are too big for a particular home will short cycle. This refers to a situation where the air conditioner doesn’t work for more than 10 minute at a time and cools the house very quickly.Short cycling tends to impact the humidity levels in your home. Big air conditioners may effectively cool the space quickly, but would not be able to dehumidify the house. This means you will be left feeling sticky and hot.

On top of this, air conditioners which are too small for a particular house will not be able to cool your space adequately. They will keep running for longer than usual. Your air conditioner is probably small for your house if it runs for more than 20 minutes at any given time.

4. Condition of Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioners suffer the same type of wear and tear as all other electrical units. Your AC will work just fine if you take care of it. It will have a longer lifespan and operate efficiently.However, air conditioners that are neglected will not cool your space that efficiently. It will take longer for the unit to reach the desired temperature. This is bad for your electricity bills and air conditioner. This is why it’s important to ensure your air conditioner is maintained properly and running in tip top shape.

5. Your Home’s Size

Larger sized houses tend to take a longer time to cool. This is especially true if the air conditioner is not adequately sized for the space. You can employ a strategic cooling method to decrease your air conditioner’s run time. This way you only cool the rooms you are using at any particular point of time.

You don’t need to waste energy cooling a guest room if nobody is using that space. Consider closing the dampers in this case so that all the cool air gets directed to other family rooms in your Northern California home.

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