How Long Can You Run An Air Conditioner Continuously?

During the hot summer, we rely heavily on our air conditioner. How long can an air conditioning system run continuously? Is it more efficient to turn it on and off as needed? Continue reading for more information.

How long can an air conditioner system be run continuously?

It’s commons for your air conditioners to run longer than usual during a hot summer. Even if the outside temperature is extremely high, your air conditioner should not run continuously. Cooling cycles should take roughly 2 to 3 hours and last about 15 to 20 minutes.

However, there is a distinction between running your air conditioner continuously and running the compressor all day. When your thermostat detects the set temperature, the air conditioning unit, or the compressor, should automatically turn off, completing the cooling cycle.

When the temperatures in the rooms rise, the cooling cycle begins again. The compressor will run up to 80% of the time in mild weather. However, if your cooling unit is constantly running for hours, contact AC repair in Yaphank for help.

Factors that influence AC compressor runtime.

Low thermostat settings

Low thermostat settings will make it difficult for the compressor to shut down. Check your thermostat settings; if they are lower than the actual room temperature, the AC will cycle continuously. Increase the temperature a few degrees above the existing room temperature, and the thermostat should shut off the air conditioner.

Your system is undersized

When an air conditioning system is too small or undersized, it lacks the power to achieve the cooling temperatures you set. The system uses a lot of energy by providing inefficient cooling. The unit will continue to run for hours without keeping the house at a comfortable temperature until the entire unit is replaced.

Hot summer day

Long AC cycles are likely if you live in a hot climate. Your air conditioner will run continuously to compensate for the high temperatures. Make sure to turn on your air conditioning before the highest temperatures of the day; this prevents your air conditioning from overworking when attempting to reduce the temperature.

If you wait until the space is hot and humid before turning on your air conditioner, the device will have to work much harder to cool it down. The longer the compressor runs to cool the house, the longer it runs.

Dirty air filter

A clogged filter restricts airflow through the system, causing a variety of issues as well as preventing the compressor from shutting down. When the air filter becomes clogged with pollutants, the air conditioner must continue to cycle to provide adequate cooling for the home. Examine your air filter to see if it is dirty.

Dirty evaporator coils

It is a common problem with the dirt and debris that blows around outside. When your evaporator coils are covered in dust and dirt, the air that blows over them does not cool them sufficiently during their normal cycle.

Your windows and doors are not adequately insulated

If your windows and doors aren’t properly insulated, humid and hot outdoor air will slowly permeate and raise the temperature. Your air conditioning system will have to run continuously and work harder to maintain the desired temperature in your home.


Continuously running your air conditioner system is usually safe. However, it is best to use your air conditioning system only when the temperature in your home exceeds your preferred comfort level. That will not only keep it running longer, but it will also save you money on electricity bills.

Contact Best Temp Central Air Conditioning for the best AC replacement in Yaphank or if you require expert advice any AC related inquiries. We are more than happy to help!