Can Portable Air Conditioners Run 24/7?

It’s frustrating to repeatedly turn your portable air conditioners on and off, and you might want to keep them on forever. The question now is whether it is even safe to run them 24/7. Here’s the answer:

Quick Answer: Yes, portable air conditioners can run 24/7. While it may not have a negative impact on the AC itself, it will result in an increase of your electricity bill by around $151.20 a month. If you really need to run your portable AC that much, you should rather get a wall-mounted AC unit.

Running your portable AC unit 24/7 is not always the most energy-efficient option.

Let’s get right to the finer details of using a portable air conditioner continuously.

What Happens if You Run a Portable Air Conditioner 24/7?

High power usage and electricity cost

Because portable air conditioners require a lot of power, operating one constantly will increase your electricity bill.

If you’re using a portable air conditioner and your power bill spikes, you may be operating your unit too much. Using a portable air conditioner all day long will use up a lot of power, which can result in a higher electric bill. 

If you’re noticing your power bill going up, try using your portable air conditioner less often or for shorter periods of time.

According to the portable AC running cost guide, the cost of running a portable air conditioner for a month is $5.04 every 24 hours. Which, if you do the calculation, sums up to $151.20 for a month.


Because they are different from central air conditioners, portable air conditioners also create noise, which can be irritating and frustrating if left on all day.

However, if the noise is loud or odd, it may indicate that a component is damaged or not performing properly.

Mold growth and smell

Since dust and water droplets build up on the ac evaporator coil over time, it eventually decomposes or even provides a place for bacteria and fungi to thrive, which causes the portable air conditioner to smell.

The water tank itself should be fine since only distilled water from the air and no dust reaches it.

Increased need for AC Maintenance 

It becomes very important to maintain the portable air conditioner when you run it 24/7. Since it gathers a lot of moisture, especially in humid areas, you must drain its water tank properly. Running it continuously means you should be up for draining it every day too. 

Additionally, continued use will clog and dirty the air filters and the evaporator coil, necessitating frequent filter cleaning. The clogged filth in them is another incentive to clean them.

Why Is It Necessary to Drain the Portable Air Conditioner?

It is important to drain your portable air conditioner since it releases water that could lead to overflowing if you don’t drain it. Additionally, the microbes can start to grow in the water and make you sick.

Most portable air conditioners have a built-in float switch that automatically turns off when the water tank fills. Hence if you don’t drain the water tank of your ac, the unit will turn off. 

Safety Risks of Running a Portable AC Continuously


Since the air conditioners dry out the air, it substantially contributes to dehydration and even causes a sore throat due to dry and cool air. Dehydration can subsequently lead to a wide range of other issues.

Maintaining moisture in the air is essential, and you can use a humidifier. It will replenish the moisture in the air, thus preventing dehydration.


Running a portable air conditioner 24/7 causes the air filters to get dirty and spreads allergens in the air. Even moisture that builds up inside the appliance can encourage mold growth, and the germs can spread through the airflow. This air may potentially trigger allergic reactions or an asthma attack.


This is a factor that can be caused due to dehydration. When the fluid level in your body is low, the brain starts to contract as a consequence that can cause headaches. 

Also read: Are Portable Air Conditioners Safe?

How to Setup Your Portable AC for 24/7 Usage?

To run your portable AC 24/7 do these things:

  • Drain the water tank regularly
  • Place the portable ac on an anti-vibration pad to reduce noise
  • Set the AC to its lowest settings to reduce wear and increase your AC’s durability
  • Insulate the portable air conditioner’s hose to increase energy efficiency

I recommend getting these anti-vibration pads (click here to view them on amazon), which reduce noise and prevent walking and shaking of your portable air conditioner.

Insulating the hose and window kit with aluminum wrap and HVAC tape is a great idea because it reduces cooling cycles and improves efficiency.

Is Running a Portable AC 24/7 a Good Idea?

No doubt, a portable air conditioner can be run 24/7. However, it is better that you don’t run it for that long. The reason why it’s not a good idea to run it for this long is because they are not very efficient. Instead, you can opt for a wall unit AC.

A wall unit AC in comparison takes up less space, is more efficient, and will even save you money in the long run. On the other hand, a portable AC is good if you plan to run it for 4-8 hours a day.

Above all, running a portable AC is not a good idea because it has a harmful effect on the environment due to its low efficiency.

You can estimate a regular portable air conditioner to consume only half of the power of a portable air conditioner while producing the same cooling effect.

How Can You Extend the Life of Your Portable Air Conditioner?

Clean Regularly

It goes without saying that the first thing you need to check is whether or not the air conditioner is clean. The air conditioner’s efficiency is decreased when filters clog up with dust or accumulation.

So, especially when running your portable air conditioner continuously, you have to maintain it regularly.

Not only the performance, but it can even cause overheating and total damage. 

Place Your Air Conditioner Properly

Make sure to place your air conditioner near a power outlet and window for ventilation and drainage purposes. It is a fact that an air conditioner’s ability to operate effectively depends on where it is placed. 

Use Less Electrical Appliances

When there are too many electrical appliances running in the same space, the air conditioner will struggle to run properly because of the heat emanating from other appliances. 


You can run your portable air conditioner 24/7, but it rarely makes sense. If you really need to cool your room so much, it makes a lot more sense to get an actual wall-mounted AC unit.

The reduced energy consumption of a regular AC will make up for the increased installation cost.