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During the hot summer months, you may end up spending a lot of your time in one room in your home. For example, you might spend 8+ hours in your bedroom at night when you sleep.
Running the central AC to cool your entire home doesn’t make sense when you’re only in your bedroom. In this case, using a window air conditioner is an excellent choice to keep your room cool.
But are you able to keep your window AC on all the time?
You can keep your window air conditioner on 24/7 without any problems. Window ACs are designed to run continuously.
The main thing is that you keep your window AC clean and maintained.
In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of running your window AC continuously. I’ll also provide some tips and tricks to keep your window AC running efficiently. You’ll be able to keep your energy bills low, and prolong the life of your AC!
Is it safe to run your window AC all night?
Yes, it is safe to run your window AC all night. Window ACs are designed to run 24/7 so you won’t have any problems.
So go ahead and leave your window AC running all night if you want to keep your room cool while you sleep!
The parts inside a window AC are designed for continuous use. There is no risk of anything breaking or overheating if your window AC is left on all night—as long as the window AC is maintained and in good working order.
However, if you don’t need to keep your room cool all night, then you should turn your window AC off for the following reasons:
- Window ACs use lots of energy. You’ll end up paying a higher electricity bill if you leave your window AC on all night.
- Your window AC will get more wear and tear. Leaving your AC running 24/7 means more wear on its mechanical components such as the compressor and fan. The life expectancy of a typical window air conditioner is 10~15 years but will be reduced if you leave it running all the time.
- Your window AC will need more maintenance. You’ll need to clean your window AC’s air filter, coils, and drain pan more frequently if it’s running all the time.
If you want to run your window AC all night while you sleep, set the thermostat to your desired temperature and turn on “eco” or “energy saver” mode.
Energy saver mode will run your window AC similarly to a central AC. Its fan will turn on only when cooling is required. After your room’s temperature reaches the setpoint, the fan will turn off.
Energy saver mode will save you a good amount on your electricity bill since the fan won’t be on all night. Plus, your window AC will only turn on when it’s needed. For example, if the temperature inside your room stabilizes, then your window AC won’t even turn on.
What happens when your window AC runs for too long?
Generally, nothing bad happens when your window AC runs for too long. Window ACs are designed to run continuously.
However, if your window AC stays running for extended periods of time, that could indicate an issue with your window AC:
- Your window AC’s filter is dirty. A dirty air filter will restrict airflow in your window AC. This reduction in airflow makes your window AC less efficient at cooling your room. Expect increased electricity usage and higher energy bills.
- Your window AC’s coils are dirty. The evaporator and condenser coils are the parts that are responsible for transferring heat. If the coils are dirty, then your AC won’t be able to cool your room as effectively.
- Your window AC’s compressor is not working. If your window AC isn’t cooling at all, then there is likely an issue with the compressor. It could have a refrigerant leak, or it could just be dead.
One thing to keep in mind—If it’s really hot outside, your AC may stay running for a long time regardless of its condition. This is due to the large heat load in your room from the heat outside.
When there is a large heat load inside your room, the window AC will stay running to try and keep your room cool. So there might not be a problem with the window AC—it’s just trying to do its job.
How long does a window AC usually last?
A window AC usually lasts around 10 to 15 years. However, if you run your window AC 24/7, it won’t last as long.
ENERGY STAR® recommends replacing your window AC if it’s over 10 years old, even if it’s still working. The reason is simple—new air conditioners are more energy-efficient than old ones. As a window AC ages, its components slowly break down and lose efficiency.
In the long run, you’ll end up saving money on electricity bills to offset the cost of replacing the AC unit.
Additionally, there are constant technological advances that come into play. A brand new window AC from today will almost always be more efficient than a brand new window AC from 10 years ago.
How to extend the life of your window AC with routine maintenance
If you’re dedicated to keeping your window AC running in top shape, then you’ll need to conduct routine maintenance.
Here are some maintenance tasks that you can do on your window AC to keep it running as efficiently as possible:
- Clean your window AC’s air filter. Cleaning the air filter is the easiest maintenance task that you can conduct on your window AC. A clean filter makes a HUGE difference in the longevity of your window AC. If you keep your air filter clean, your window AC won’t need to work as hard to keep your space cool. It will reduce wear on the compressor and fan as well.
- Clean your window AC’s evaporator and condenser coils. Keeping the coils clean ensures that your window AC can transfer heat effectively. If the coils are dirty, then your window AC’s energy and cooling efficiency will suffer—costing you money in the long run.
- Straighten out your window AC’s coil fins. The fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can sometimes become damaged and bent. Bending usually happens to the condenser coil fins since they are exposed outside. Using a fin comb to unbend the fins will improve the efficiency of your window AC.