How Long Should an Healthy Air Conditioner Stay Off In Between Cycles?

You might know that if an air conditioner runs too much or too little, then you have a problem. However, what most people don’t know is how long a healthy air conditioner runs at all. The only time you really think to keep track of it is when you suspect a problem, so you don’t have anything to compare it to.

A healthy air conditioner should run for about 15 to 20 minutes in order to cool your home. It then may stay off for an hour or so depending on different factors.

How Long Should an Air Conditioner Stay Off In Between Cycles?

What Effects How Long an Air Conditioner Runs For?

If you are wondering what effects how long an air conditioner runs and how long it stays off, there are a few factors that can make the time above vary to some degree.

Outside Temperature

Obviously, on hotter and more humid days, your air conditioner will run more frequently. This means you may see it start running again with less time passing in between, and that is to be expected.

Temperature Setting

The colder you want it in your home, the more the appliance will need to run. If you raise the temperature a bit, there will be a longer in between time from cycle to cycle since it doesn’t need to be kept as cold. This is compounded even more so if you have good quality insulation in your home.


Both the size of your home and the size of your air conditioner have an effect on its run time. For example, if you buy the biggest model air conditioner for your normal-sized home against all advice, you will find that the appliance short cycles and eats huge amounts of energy cooling your home. Alternatively, if you go too small for your larger home, the appliance runs almost all the time and burns itself out.


Air conditioners that are well maintained do last quite awhile, but they do not last forever. If your air conditioner has been neglected or is just getting old, it will need to run longer and more frequently to do the same job.

Are you having air conditioner problems? Contact us today to see what Tri County Air Care can do to help.