Some people worry their air conditioner runs too much.
Others are worried it’s not enough.
With so many different air conditioners on the market, and so many different homes, how do you know what’s ‘normal’ for an air conditioner cycle?
An Air Conditioner Should Run for 15-20 Minutes at a Time
In a perfect situation, an air conditioner should run for 15-20 minutes at a time in mild temperatures. Any less than that and your AC could be too large for your home – more on that below.
But we live in the GTA – mild temperatures aren’t very common in the summer.
There are a lot of factors that impact how long your air conditioner runs, including:
1. The Temperature Outside
The hotter it is, the longer your air conditioner has to run to reach your desired temperature. This is especially true when the humidity is high.
You shouldn’t be alarmed if your air conditioner runs more on extra hot days. As long as you feel comfortable and cool air is coming out of your vents, you don’t need to be alarmed.
2. The Setting on Your Thermostat
The lower you set your thermostat in summer, the longer your air conditioner will have to run to reach it.
While you may like it as cool as possible, adjusting your thermostat by even a couple of degrees and decrease your air conditioner’s run time and save you a little on your electricity.
You can keep your cooling costs down by using more of these tips >
3. The Size of Your Air Conditioner
The biggest factor in air conditioner run times is the size of your air conditioner.
An air conditioner that is too big will decrease your run time to around 10 minutes or less. This is called short-cycling, and it means your air conditioner cools your home too quickly.
Short cycling also impacts the percentage of humidity in your home. A big air conditioner would cool the air but it wouldn’t dehumidify your home. That means you still feel hot and sticky.
An air conditioner that is too small will do the opposite. It doesn’t have the ability to cool your house adequately, so it keeps running. Anything over 20 minutes with little to no change in temperature means that your air conditioner might be too small.
4. The State of Your AC
Air conditioners age just like everything else.
When you take good care of your AC, it will continue operating efficiently – it’ll even have a longer lifespan.
However, a neglected air conditioner does the opposite. It won’t cool your home as well, so it has to run longer to reach your desired temperature.
This is bad for your air conditioner and bad for your electricity bills. That’s why we recommend an annual tune up to keep your AC in tip-top shape.
5. The Size of Your Home
A larger home will take a little longer to cool, especially if the air conditioner unit is on the small size.
One way you can decrease run time for your air conditioner is to strategically cool only the rooms you’re using. For example, you don’t need to spend time cooling a guest room. Instead, close off the dampers and doors, and redirect that air into your family room.
6. The Quality of Your Insulation
Your home needs insulation all year round. It’s what helps keep the air in your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
A lack of insulation means that much of the air you spend your hard-earned money on cooling is actually leaking into the outside world. This means it takes much longer to cool your home, and your air conditioner will run longer to compensate for the loss.
Have Husky Size Your New Air Conditioner
Long story short? Don’t panic about your air conditioner’s run time. It’ll fluctuate – and you can always ask us to inspect it if you’re really worried something’s wrong.
That being said, you want your air conditioner to be the perfect fit for your home when it’s time to upgrade. Buying the wrong sized air conditioner will waste your money, lead to more repairs, and impact your comfort in your own home.