One’s first instinct may be to switch on an air conditioner immediately after installation or prolonged inactivity, but you should give the unit time to settle.
Air conditioners can be lifesavers when it comes to enduring the hot, humid temperatures that come with summer seasons and with certain geographical climates.
Purchasing a brand new air conditioner for your home can be exciting, though it is important to ensure that you start it up correctly and safely.
So you may be asking the question, is it okay to use your new unit right after installation or is there a set time that you should wait for the air conditioner to settle?
Settling time for a new air conditioner
The thought of finally having a brand new air conditioning system can be exciting enough to make you want to crank up your new cooling system from the get-go.
This is understandable, but it might not be the best approach soon after your air conditioner has been installed. You need to wait for your new air conditioner to settle before you can use it. But exactly how much time does the unit need to settle?
How long to let an air conditioner settle
The installation process of air conditioners requires thorough attention and precision as the components of the unit need to be set up carefully to ensure that the unit is working properly.
As tempting as it may be to switch on your new air conditioner right after installation, doing this is not advisable if you want the unit to work efficiently.
Air conditioners may seem like simple machines, but they can be quite complex and fragile, so they need to be handled with care.
A brand new AC unit needs time before it can be switched on after installation. This is because important components such as the freon (refrigerant) and other internal parts of the unit need to settle inside the system before the unit can be used.
If you are too eager to have the appliance up and running, and you do not give components like the freon a chance to settle, you risk potentially damaging the unit before you can enjoy it.
In order to avoid such a disappointment, you should give the unit time to settle. This time will differ depending on the type of unit you have and the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Generally, between 30 minutes and 24 hours is enough time, but, again, this will depend on the unit you have. If you are uncertain, rather wait the maximum time for the unit to settle.
The importance of oil lubrication before using an AC
Another part of allowing the unit to settle gives the air conditioner time to fully lubricate the compressor. If there is not enough lubrication on the compressor, it may not work properly, and even if it does work, it will be prone to damage.
Are newly installed units the only units that need to settle before use?
Older units may need some time to settle too, especially if they have not been used in months. To determine if a unit that was packed away needs time to settle, you need to look at how it was stored during its inactivity.
If the unit had been placed on its side, for instance, then the liquids inside the unit will no longer be where they should be. This will confirm that the unit needs some time to settle so that the freon and lubricating oils can settle back into place.
If the unit was properly stored in the right position, it may still be beneficial to let the unit settle before switching it on.
Always consult the user manual for precise instructions
You should consult your user manual’s specific instructions from the manufacturer about what to do before running an air conditioner for the first time or after some time of inactivity.
Different manufacturers have varying specifications about how long their product needs to settle before using it.
A good example of this is the difference between the recommended settling periods for the GE window air conditioner and the Delonghi portable air conditioner.
If you have a GE window air conditioner, it is recommended that you let it rest for up to 24 hours, whereas the Delonghi portable air conditioner only needs one hour.
However, these times may differ if your unit was stored away and inactive. Therefore, you should bear in mind how well the unit was positioned while in storage, as this could add time to the settling process.