OK to use a timer with window a/c units??


Old 07-01-04, 06:38 PM
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OK to use a timer with window a/c units??

Since I don't need my air conditioners on while I'm at work, to save on my bill I thought about using dial timers (like to control lights on/off while on vacation) to turn the a/c on an hour before I get home. Is it ok to use this kind of timer on 7700btu & 6000btu window a/c units? Each unit has it's own 20A circuit. I think it should be fine cuz the timer says 15A and 1800 watt max but I wanted to see what you guys thought about the idea since their intended use is for lighting. Thanks!
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Old 07-01-04, 08:05 PM
Andrew's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 936
Timers are fine as long as they have the capacity, and have a three-prong outlet and cord so the air conditioner remains grounded.
Old 07-03-04, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219
Note the important point in Andrew's response "If they have the capacity...". Overloaded switches, especially on motor loads, don't last very long, and can present a safety hazard. But if you do a search for 'Air Conditioner Timer', you will find exactly what you need, a heavier duty version of the standard timer used for lamps and such.

doityourself.com appears to sell the Intermatic TN311C http://www.intermatic.com/images/fact_sheets/TN311C.pdf which should be suitable for a small window air conditioner. Check the nameplate on your air conditioner and make sure that the amp rating is less than 12.

Old 07-03-04, 08:41 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 198
Some newer air conditioners have infrared remote controls. If you are lucky enough to have one of those, you might try getting one of those universal remotes for a TV that has an integrated timer. Teach it your air conditioner signal codes, and let it do the A/C timing.

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