Air conditioners are a great device to have in your home. They ensure comfort, and they maintain computer-like electronics. Not only that, but they are also an excellent piece of equipment to keep your house fresh during the unbearable summer days. It is entirely understandable if you want to keep your AC running all day during these times.
Can you leave a window air conditioner on 24/7? A lot of people do leave them on. Perhaps you’re one of those people that are always worried that maybe running the AC all day can be harmful. And you’re right to be concerned. So, the answer to the question if you can leave a window air conditioner on 24/7 or not, the answer is NO!
You might overlook the harmful impact your AC has. You might even think that an AC can’t have disadvantages. Well, I suppose you might be wrong. In this piece, we will explain why an AC injures you and those around you.
The mechanism behind air conditioning
It is effortless to understand how an air conditioner works. Once you turn it on, the compressor in the air conditioner turns on and cools off the room to the desired temperature on the thermostat. When that temperature is reached, the compressor automatically turns off. Once the temperature starts rising again, the sensors in the compressor alert it to begin operating still. This simple cycle is what makes air conditioner work.
Can you leave a window air conditioner on 24/7 without any harm?
You don’t have to worry if you accidentally leave your air conditioner working non-stop. According to multiple experts, it is entirely safe to leave it on. The parts are specifically designed to work continuously with no side effects. They won’t get too hot, nor will they melt. Not only that but, the overall performance of the air conditioner won’t be affected either.
While it won’t harm the air conditioner, leaving it always on can be harmful to your well-being and climate. Here are several ways how it can be detrimental.
Inefficient at dehumidifying indoor air
We already said how air conditioners work. First, the hot indoor air passes through the condenser, and then it ejects the cooked refrigerant outward. At the same time, they also draw in moisture from the room, and in that way, they end up dehumidifying it.
This is a necessary process. It improves comfort levels and minimizes allergens’ existence in air and reduces the moist scent of places.
However, you won’t achieve this if your air conditioner runs all day. Running the air conditioner at different alternating periods will maximize its performance. It will be at top speed and work best.
Running Window AC 24/7 clogs its air filters with dirt.
When having an air conditioner, keep in mind that leaving it on for too long can clog your air. A lot of the time, it happens for air conditioners to blow warm instead of cold air. This happens because many air conditioners don’t come with a proper filter. The hardened dirt from the filter collects in the condenser coils. You can replace the filters, but it is best if you regularly turn off the AC. That way, you will save money on cleaners and avoid damaging the ac window unit compressor.
Modifying an AC’s compressor and condenser simultaneously is the worst that could happen since significant damage would force you to abandon it.
Can you leave a window air conditioner on 24/7 and save a lot of money at the same time?
As mentioned before, turning off your AC can save you a lot of money. By doing so, you will cut down on cash repairing your air conditioner, but you will cut down your electricity bills. While it does not cost a lot, bills can stack up and cause many financial issues. For the optimal outcome and low-bill months, do try to turn your air conditioner off.
Wasting energy not only costs you more money. It requires burning more coal and other fossil fuels that contribute to global climate change.
A Negative Impact on the environment
While they are suitable for your indoors, they are bad for the environment. To make one air conditioner, a lot of coal and fossil fuels need to be burned first. But, there are also hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used to decrease outside air temperature to send it to your room. Their presence makes them the most detrimental contributors to global warming. Remember this if you’re wondering if you can you leave a window air conditioner on 24/7:
Running an AC for eight hours emits 222g of carbon while running it all day emits 5344 grams.
Think about how much of an impact you can make—simply switch it off every once in a while.
If having dust allergies, avoid doing this
As mentioned before, the dust in the air filters can clog the air in no time. This is especially bad for people prone to colds and other air-borne diseases. Not only that, but the dust can also be incredibly hazardous for people allergic to it. They can trigger allergies or lead to certain medical conditions.
The typical cycle time of air conditioner
You can define the cycle time as the period a window ac unit runs. By doing so, it maintains the room temperature the same as the thermostat. For example, low heat on the thermostat makes the compressor work for a longer time. Thus, decreasing the temperature to the desired one. By doing so, it increases the cycle time. In other words, the more significant the temperature difference between the room temperature and thermostat temperature, the higher the cycle time and vice versa.
Completely shutting down the AC
After reading all these things about turning your AC off, you might think that shutting it down is the best option, especially if you are going on an extended vacation. However, this also comes with negative downsides. By consistently shutting it down and turning it back on, you compromise its performance. Mold and other substances may deteriorate its working ability and compromise air quality. What you can do is set the air conditioner to turn off and on automatically. This way, you will have fresh air when you come back and a working AC.
Alternatives for leaving window AC on 24/7
Closing the doors
Window unit ac are made with a specific amount of air space. An air conditioner is typically designed to cool down only one room. Leaving an open the door to another place will cause new and warm air to come into the room. This will result in the AC to try and cool down both rooms at the same time. This will minimize its efficiency. Try and limit the places that need to be cooled down.
Turning off your AC overnight
During the summer, a lot of people keep the AC running overnight. It’s understandable. The high temperatures keep you awake and sweaty at night. But, can you leave a window air conditioner on 24/7 with no sleeping consequences?
Unfortunately, it is not a great idea to leave the AC on. When sleeping, your body temperature lowers. That’s why it can tolerate high temperatures when asleep. However, the cold air blown from the AC window ac unit can lower your body temperature even more, thus resulting in freezing the next morning. For your safety, you can invest in an AC which comes with a thermostat whose temperatures you can customize.
Investing in a fan
Image source: RDM General Contractors
While fans don’t filter air and make it more chilled, they disperse it across your body surface. This is why you feel more refreshed when standing in the same room with it. By investing in a ceiling fan, you can freely set the thermostat temperature higher. This is great if you strive for a low-energy waste but a great cooling device. A lot of environmental organizations recommend using fans rather than ACs.
Image source: Westover Landscape Design
Another tremendous environmental hack is to plant greens. Many large and shady plants and bushes in your yard play a massive role in cooling your house. Placing them to the south and west sides around your home can diminish heat during the scorching summer period.
When investing in an air conditioner, think about the many factors that play with buying one. Can you leave a window air conditioner on 24/7? Think about the advantages and disadvantages it comes with. Be thoughtful about how you use it and save your money.
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