Should You Be Running Your Air Conditioner All Day?

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: May 31, 2022

Considering electricity bills, you’re likely asking yourself, “Should my AC run all day?”. Running your air conditioner all day can impact your energy costs significantly. For all your air conditioning needs and guidance about running an air conditioner all day, remember to contact the pros at Anderson Air.

Can you run your AC throughout the day?

Yes, you can.

Although air conditioners sometimes cause power outages, especially during hot summers, it is entirely safe to run your AC the whole day, 24/7. The power outages result from too many people running their air conditioning systems at high power at the same time. This can cause your AC (most especially an older unit that consumes more power than more efficient systems) to trip the circuit breaker, causing a power out.

Air conditioners are designed with the capacity to cool your room constantly or maintain a set temperature day and night without breaking down. So, if you want a comfortable temperature in your house and aren’t bothered by electricity bills, set your AC to “on” mode. And you will enjoy cool blasts of air indoors all day without worrying about causing any issues in your home.

How does the AC run all day without breaking down?

What does “air conditioner running all day” mean?

Your AC being “on” for the whole day doesn’t mean that it runs continuously for the entire time it is on.

A machine that has no rest time will wear and tear down easily. That is why AC manufacturers considered this when making these devices. They produce units with what we call a “running time.”

An air conditioner’s running time is the duration of time in which the AC compressor runs.

What is the running time for an air conditioner?

This is the period when the compressor in a normal non-inverter AC goes in the on and off-cycle after attaining the desired/set room temperature.

All the cooling of air happens when the compressor is actively running (cycles take about 15 to 20 minutes). But when it cools all the rooms to the desired temperature, the compressor stops working. It goes off. This rest time (time interval between cycles) is sufficient to keep the AC in good working condition.

So, how long is the compressor active throughout the day?

Usually, if you have the right ac size or capacity for your home or room, your air conditioner’s compressor can run 70% to 80% of the time, which is about 16 to 19 hours daily. This period caters to both split and window air conditioners during summers when the temperature is not too high.

But when the temperature is too high, your compressor can run for approximately 90% to 100% of the time daily.

Although it is difficult to estimate the running time of an inverter ac, its compressor’s running time is less than 24 hours if the outdoor temperature is not too high.

Why does your AC/compressor run the whole day

Why your accompressor runs the whole day

Should my AC run all day? Here are the instances why your AC/compressor runs all day:

When the thermostat is set to low


Thermostats set to lower temperatures require the AC or its compressor to run for longer durations to achieve and maintain these cooler (set) temperatures.

On the other hand, if you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, the AC will easily achieve the required temperature. This will give the compressor a rest time between cycles.

When you are using an undersized compressor

The right ac is one that adequately and effortlessly cools your room or house. So, if you use an AC whose cooling capacity is lower than your room/house’s cooling requirement, it will run the whole day.

This is because the compressor of the undersized AC will have to run continuously throughout the whole day to try and reach or maintain the desired temperature of the larger home. And in doing so, the compressor will over-exert itself and break down.

When the summer temperatures are too high

Summer Temperatures

Summers can be a nightmare when the heat waves are massive. The only way you can comfortably enjoy summer is if your indoors are comfortably cool, day and night.

In this case, you should run your AC all day. The constantly hot days and nights make your AC compressor run continuously to cool the hot air and give you a comfortable/cool temperature indoors.

Why you shouldn’t run your AC all day

Should my AC run all day? Here are some reasons why it shouldn’t:

It increases utility bills

Increase Of Utility Bills

The air conditioning system is one of the main power consumers in a home, contributing about 12% of your monthly energy bills.

So, running your AC all day is not economical. The more your AC runs, the more power it will consume, spiking your power bills.

It increases the rate of wear and tear in an AC’s components

Practically all electronic appliances break down or wear out faster when used consistently. The more you use/run your ac, the more its components work, suffer wear-and-tear, and break down or stop working efficiently. For example, when an AC runs throughout the day, it may freeze and need regular filter cleaning and replacement.

It shortens the lifespan of the ac

This is in the case of an undersized ac. Running it the whole day will make it expend more energy to get the desired temperature of a room or home. And this will lead to it breaking down faster.

It increases the need for frequent servicing (more costs)

Air conditioners that work all day easily accumulate more waste, such as dust, salt, and moisture. To maintain your air conditioner’s efficiency, you will need frequent servicing.

Note: The above points show that running your AC the whole day increases the cost of your bills and maintenance. In some situations, it can lead to accidents, especially if an undersized ac reaches its maximum limit and snaps.


Previously, you were asking yourself, “Should my ac unit run all day?”. You can run your air conditioner 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if you don’t mind the bills and have the right air conditioning capacity for your home cooling needs.

Tip: you can reduce your AC’s power consumption without foregoing your cool temperatures by adjusting your thermostat to 23 to 26 degrees Celsius.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

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