One of the small pleasures of the summer season is the satisfying thunk noise of the compressor in an air conditioning system turning on. As this part of the AC goes to work, it means cool, refreshing air will soon flow from vents around the house.
If you’ve lived with a central air conditioning system before, then you’ll know its compressor doesn’t run constantly when you have the air conditioner turned to cool off the home. Instead, it runs periodically and then powers down for a stretch. These periods are known as cooling cycles, and they help to keep the temperature in a house from becoming too cold and to prevent the compressor (the most powerful part of an AC and the one that uses the most electricity) from overheating. But how long should the compressor run at a time?