Window air conditioners are a necessary addition to every home. They keep the home cool and fresh, and offer comfort, especially in the hottest seasons when the heat and humidity seem unbearable.
As a perfect fit for many homes, especially small spaces, like studio apartments, window AC has great functionality for its size.
One common question people ask is how long they can keep their window AC running.
Sometimes you might want to keep your window AC running day and night. However, there’s that nagging doubt as to whether it is the right thing to do.
If you want to find out whether you can leave your window AC on 24/7, then keep reading to get your answers.
Can You Leave a Window Air Conditioner On 24/7?
Yes, you can! According to experts, you can leave your window air conditioner working 24/7 without any issues. You don’t have to worry that a coil, thermostat, or any other thing inside will get overheated and melt or burn.
While leaving your unit working 24/7 is possible and will not destroy the window AC, you can expect your energy bill to soar due to constant usage.
Some experts also believe that constantly and continuously using the unit might reduce its lifespan. As with every device, wear and tear can affect the lifespan of a window AC.
Also, if you are using an extension cord for your AC, then, there are some risks involved if you keep it on 24/7.
Now that we know you can leave your window AC on 24/7, let’s find out the dangers of leaving it on when you’re not home.
Is it safe to leave the window air conditioner on when not home?
You have probably considered leaving your AC on while you’re going out into the heat to assure you of a cold room when you return. But have you stopped to imagine the dangers of an unattended working AC unit?
There are risks to leaving your window AC on when you’re not home because something could go wrong, and you wouldn’t be there to prevent a dangerous occurrence.
A sudden power surge can hurt your AC compressor and even damage it totally if you’re not around to turn it off as soon as it happens.
An electricity spike can cause the compressor to malfunction, and, in the worst-case scenario, it can even cause a fire, especially if your power cords connect your AC unit directly to your socket.
Remember that the compressor is very expensive, and you can have a major cost on your hand if such an incident occurs.
So, perhaps a rethink is necessary before you leave your window AC on when you’re away.
Do window air conditioners lose efficiency over time?
As sad as it might be to you, window air conditioners can lose efficiency over time, as with other types of ACs.
One telltale sign that your window AC is losing efficiency is your utility bill. If it costs you more to run your AC than you previously did under similar conditions, then it needs a performance boost.
If you’re observant, you can also tell when it’s taking the AC a longer time to achieve coolness than it would before.
Several things can cause your window air conditioner to lose efficiency over the years, but let’s talk about the three most common reasons.
A dirty or dusty condenser will prevent your evaporator coil from releasing heat effectively, which would put extra pressure on your air conditioner.
Your AC system can get dirty if it’s left unused during winter or if it just hasn’t been used for a while.
If you suspect that this might be the issue, get a professional to check it out and clean it up.
Once your AC unit’s air filters get clogged when in use, it won’t support air filtering and airflow properly, which will pose an extra burden energy drain to your air conditioner.
Inspect your filter monthly, and clean it or change it, as the need might be.
The last and unavoidable reason why your window air conditioner might be losing efficiency is age. Even when you follow all the maintenance tips, your AC unit will lose efficiency as it ages.
If you have used your AC for 10 years or more, you can ask a professional to assess it and find out if it needs to be replaced.
Important Tips to leave the window air conditioner on all day safely
If you would like to have your AC on all day, whether you are home or away, some safety tips will help you ensure it is safe and doesn’t shoot your energy bills through the ceiling.
1. Right Size of Air Conditioner
Ensure that your AC unit is the perfect size for your apartment. If your unit is too large, it will keep turning off and on throughout the day, resulting in energy inefficiency that might increase your bills.
If the unit is too small for your apartment, your window AC would have to work a lot harder to maintain the coolness you desire.
This situation will result in higher energy costs and could also shorten your cooling system’s lifestyle
2. Usage of Programmable Thermostat
The United States Department of Energy advises that you install a programmable thermostat to help you manage energy consumption. You can make the thermostat cycle whenever the temperature exceeds 78°F to maintain the ideal temperature.
For an empty house, you can leave your AC temperature at 78°F. This temperature is ideal if you have pets at home and won’t want them to be uncomfortable.
However, if you’ll be out of your house for long, it is best to set your thermostat at a higher temperature so that the AC doesn’t cycle too hard.
Also, pay attention to your pets’ temperature needs if you own pets.
3. Check the Filters
Check and clean the filters regularly if you leave the AC on all day. When your window air conditioner works 24/7, your filters get clogged quickly.
When clogged, the filters will either work poorly or not work at all.
4. Window Position
Ensure that your window air conditioner is situated in the right part of the house so that it can cool all areas properly.
If your cooling unit is in the wrong place, you might leave it on all day and still discover that some areas are cold while others are hot.
5. Placement of Window Air Conditioner
Finally, ensure that your window air conditioner is not close to any form of foliage. The presence of such foliage close to the unit can affect its efficiency.
Top 3 Window Air Conditioners to Run All Day
1. MIDEA 5,000 BTU EasyCool Window Air Conditioner [Best Price]
This window AC is budget-friendly and great for small rooms.
It has two fan speeds and an adjustable 1-7 cooling scale.
It is easily installed and has adjustable side panels that help it fit into several windows.
It comes with filters, saving you the long-term purchase cost, especially if you plan to run it all day.
It covers a cooling area of 150 square feet 5,000 BTU, 54-57 dBA Noise Level, and fits a window size of 23-36 inches.
2. Friedrich Chill Premier 6,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner [Value for Money]
Although on the expensive end, several experts say that Friedrich window ACs have the highest quality.
Also called the king of air conditioners, it is highly efficient and great for full-time use.
This AC is available in sizes from 5,000 to 12,000 BTU.
Although on the expensive end, several experts say that Friedrich window ACs have the highest quality. Also called the king of air conditioners, it is highly efficient and great for full-time use.
It comes with a timer and adjustable thermostat that you can program to change the temperature for energy-saving. It also has a built-in Wi-Fi making it easy to control from your phone.
While it is perfect for 24/7 use, ensure to clean the filter frequently for it to work efficiently.
3. LG 6,000 BTU 115V Window Air Conditioner [Best Features]
This window air conditioner has great features, including multiple fan and cooling speeds, allowing you to customize the cooling you get, even as it cools rooms up to 250 Square Feet.
It is a Low-Noise-Performance device that operates at a low sound level (52dB when in low mode), saving you from excessive and unnecessary noise.
The window AC had electronic controls and a remote that is easy to operate, and auto restart that turns the unit on immediately power is restored.
The quiet sound, dust filters, and automated nature make it a great choice for all-day operations.
As we earlier stated, leaving your window air conditioner 24/7 is possible and practicable, but it is safer to do this when you’re home for safety purposes.
Remember that your electricity bill is bound to soar if you leave your AC on 24/7, so get ready to pay more than usual.
Consider all aspects, including the time when you really need the AC, other cooling alternatives like fans, and even natural alternatives like opening your windows or doors.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether you’ll leave your air conditioner running all the time or you’ll turn it off sometimes.