Using a Timer with an Air Conditioner

Outdoor AC units.

When the summer months start getting hotter, it is nice to know that the air conditioner is there to keep things cool. Many homeowners have small window or portable air conditioners to keep living rooms, bedrooms, and even kitchens cool and comfortable. An air conditioner also helps to keep the air pure by filtering out impurities, and it can help people who have medical problems with heat and humidity.

One of the ways to make the air conditioner more energy efficient is to place a timer on the unit. The timer will help control the times that the air conditioner is in use. This means that it will not be running all the time and can be started before you get home to cool off your home before you get there. Installing and using a timer is a very simple process.

Step 1 - Purchase Your Timer

Appliance timers come in a very wide variety of sizes and costs. They can be a simple plug-in type or a very elaborate digital timer. These timers allow you to do a lot of different things with them from adjusting the time they turn on and off, to even adjusting the temperature. Whichever you choose for your air conditioner timer, make sure that it is going to be durable enough and handle the wattage of the unit. The larger the air conditioner you have, the more durable the timer will need to be.

Step 2 - Install Timer

Most of the appliance timers on the market are simple in-line timers. This means that you simply plug the air conditioner into the timer and plug the timer into the outlet. This is the simplest to install and has the easiest learning curve. However, they can also break easily. Another type is a timer that connects to the actual control panel, through wiring connections. This is more involved, but allows you to do more with the timing.

Step 3 - Set Timer

Before you start to set your timer, become familiar with it. An in-line timer works with a dial selector that you use to indicate the time to turn on and the time to shut off. You set the timer by lining up the arrows with the dials to mark the indications.

When setting your timer, make sure you know what times you want the air conditioner to turn on. If you are home during the day, a mid-afternoon time would be good. It can then t run into the evening before shutting off. If you are not home during the day, then have the air conditioner turn on 30 minutes before you get home to cool off your home or room.

Step 4 - Adjust It for Off Days

Do not forget to adjust your timer for the days that you are not working, or are going to be away for a holiday. This is easily done with an in-line timer. However, a digital timer will allow you to pre-program for several different times including vacations and times away.