Should you turn your AC off at night when sleeping?

Running an AC at night isn’t a problem, but there are situations where you might not want to do so

Should you turn your AC off at night when sleeping?

Should your air conditioner (AC) be turned off at night when you’re sleeping? The short answer is no. The longer answer is that there are several reasons why you might want to turn your AC off at night, such as concern about power consumption, but there’s no compulsion to do so. An AC is an appliance designed for maximising our comfort, after all, and it’s designed to operate for long durations without issue.

Here are some reasons you might want to turn off the AC at night, and some solutions for those issues:-

1. High electricity bills

The biggest concern for most people is simply the electricity bill. ACs tend to be large, powerful appliances that consume a lot of electricity. Even if it has a 5-star rating, an AC will consume significantly more power than a ceiling fan running for the same duration.

If a ballooning electricity bill is a concern, then it makes sense to turn off the AC at night and only use it when the ambient temperature and humidity gets truly unbearable. We’d also suggest turning the AC on high for a little while to cool the room before turning it off for the night. This will cool the room for long enough to make it comfortable to sleep in, and then you can turn off the AC.

ALSO READ: Servicing and more: 5 air conditioner FAQs answered for you

Another option to keep in mind is that some ACs come with timers and a night mode. Setting these up will allow the AC to turn on and off on a schedule, allowing it to maintain the room at a cool temperature while not running continuously.

We’d also recommend getting an inverter AC. Such ACs use a variable speed compressor, which allows the cooling performance to be easily varied. ACs with regular compressors will turn the compressor on and off to control temperature, which consumes more power.

Lastly, simply raising the temperature and pairing the AC with a fan will bring down the load on the AC, and thus the load on your electrical network and bill.

2. Wear and tear

Another reason to turn the AC off at night, especially when it’s cool enough to be not needed, is wear and tear. As a mechanical appliance with fast-moving parts, an AC will wear down over time. To maximise its life, it’s important to use the AC more judiciously. The longer you run it for, the more it’ll wear down and the more frequent your maintenance and repair cycles.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a poorly maintained AC will consume more power, so be sure to keep the AC properly maintained to ensure that it’s running at its best. A poorly maintained AC is also a very noisy one. That way, your electricity bill will also come down and you can run the AC for longer during those hot summer nights.

3. Safety

Safety is an important concern with an older AC, especially if it’s a poorly maintained one. Compressors can and do blow, and when they do they fill the room with thick black smoke and are a fire hazard. Obviously, if you think your AC is going to blow, don’t use it, but if you have no other option, it’s best to not run it unless you are alert and monitoring its operation. This is best during the day when you’re awake and say, working in the same room.

ALSO READ: How to protect yourself from the side-effects of ACs

On a related note, if you’re in an area with frequent power fluctuations and brownouts, you might want to keep your AC off at night when you’re unable to actively monitor its operation. A good stabiliser or inverter will of course help here. Such fluctuations can permanently damage your AC.

4. Low humidity

An AC not only cools your room, but also brings down the humidity significantly. Continuously living and working in an air conditioned environment can result in, or exacerbate, existing health problems such as nosebleeds, dry eyes, cough, etc. If you, or someone in your family suffers from such issues, it’s important to ensure that the air has an adequate amount of humidity. Turning off the AC at night and using a humidifier is a good option.

Turning off the AC at night is neither compulsory nor necessary, but as you can see, there are several valid reasons for doing so. As a rule of thumb, it’s best not to use an AC unless you really need to, and do keep an eye on its condition before taking a call on leaving an AC running unattended. As long as your nights are comfortable and cool, and you’re not concerned about electricity bills, there shouldn’t be much reason to fret about your AC running 24/7.

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