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Can You Leave a Window Air Conditioner On 24/7?

We understand the temptation of trying to beat the heat during the summer months by leaving your window air conditioner running all day long. But is that actually good for the unit, or will it cause damage? What’s the best way to save money on your electric bills so they don’t go through the roof? Don’t sweat it … we’ll break down whether you can actually leave a window air conditioner on 24/7 and help you save money on your home energy bills in the process.


On average, window air conditioners last about 10 to 15 years when well-maintained. But leaving your unit running 24/7 can cause wear and tear that will make it go kaput a lot faster. For instance, running a window air conditioner 24/7 will cause it to become clogged with dirt and debris. Clogged, dirty air filters block airflow, which means your window AC will operate less efficiently.

According to the Department of Energy, replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can decrease your AC’s energy consumption by as much as 15 percent. That’s because when a filter becomes heavily clogged with dirt, dust, and other debris, the buildup will also collect on the unit’s condenser coils. Clogged coils can cause ice buildup, which could make your unit freeze up. If your unit has to work harder to operate at the same cooling capacity, more energy will be used, which will cost you more money.

So if you’re going to leave your unit running constantly, you’ll need to change the air filters much more frequently to prevent this from happening. But as the old saying goes, “Work smarter, not harder.” Keep reading on to find out how.


We understand that in the height of summer, the last thing you want to do is return home to a hot, stuffy room. But running your window AC unit 24/7 could cause a sky-high electric bill, and we’re betting you don’t want that either.

Plus, as we mentioned before, running your window AC unit 24/7 could cause it to freeze up. That means you likely won’t return from work to a nice, cool home anyway. So how can you save money while also increasing your home comfort level? Upgrading to an energy-efficient unit is one way.

Energy-efficient window air conditioners offer many advantages that older models simply cannot. For starters, energy-efficient window AC units provide enhanced cooling performance. This means they’re able to cool your home much more quickly. So if you turn off your AC when you leave for the day and then turn it back on when you arrive home, you shouldn’t have to wait too long for your home to cool down.

Higher-efficiency models also operate better. They have enhanced insulation and quieter operation for increased comfort levels. They also last longer because they’re made with better materials and parts.

Energy-efficient units with the ENERGY STAR label have even more benefits. Some remind you when it’s time to change your filters or are equipped with other smart features that allow you to control your home room temperature while you’re on the go.

Smart Technology

Through advances in modern technology, the control of most things we use on a daily basis is quite literally at our fingertips. Window AC units are no exception. Many energy-efficient units allow you to sync your AC with a smartphone app that allows you to control the temperature of the unit remotely. So if you’re tempted to run your AC 24/7 because you want to feel comfortable the instant you return home at the end of a long day, we have just the solution.

Since many modern, energy-efficient window units allow you to adjust your home temperature remotely, you can turn the temperature up or put the unit in an energy-save mode when you’re away from home. This will give the unit a rest and give you a break on your energy bills as well. When you’re ready to return home, you can simply turn the unit back on or lower the temperature to your preferred setting. It’s that easy.

Environmental Impact

Less energy consumption doesn’t only save you money on your home energy bills. It also reduces your carbon footprint, which has a positive impact on the environment. According to the ENERGY STAR website, if all room air conditioners sold nationwide were ENERGY STAR certified, it would prevent more than six billion greenhouse gas emissions each year. That’s equal to the emissions from over 570,000 cars.

So by simply turning your AC unit off on occasion or upgrading to an energy-efficient model, you’re saving the environment from harmful greenhouse gas emissions and saving yourself money in the process. It’s a win-win situation. Reducing your energy consumption keeps money in your pocket, extends the life span of your unit, and is better for the environment. For more information on how to select the right model for your home or for information on how to properly size a unit, look under the buying guidance tab found here.

So can you leave a window air conditioner on 24/7? Yes, but why would you want to? It will decrease the unit’s life span, make it operate less efficiently, and drive up your home energy bills.

Entek has been providing home heating and cooling solutions to residents of the Pacific Northwest for 75 years. So if you have any more questions on how to make the most out of your home’s heating and cooling system, give us a call.

We specialize in everything from installation to maintenance and even home performance. Our certified building performance specialists know how to help you beat the heat this summer in more ways than one. We’re confident we can increase your home comfort levels while also saving you money on energy costs.


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