How Long Should You Let an AC Sit After Moving?

  • It is recommended to let an AC sit for at least 24 hours after moving before turning it on.
  • This waiting period allows the refrigerant oil in the compressor to settle, preventing potential damage caused by running the AC immediately.
  • During transportation, the AC may have been tilted or jostled, causing the oil to mix with the refrigerant and potentially clog vital components.
  • Allowing the AC to sit also gives any residual moisture inside the unit a chance to evaporate, reducing the risk of mold or mildew growth.
  • If you are unable to wait 24 hours, at least give it a few hours before powering it on.
  • Consult your AC’s user manual or contact the manufacturer for specific recommendations regarding your model.

Moving can be a stressful and overwhelming process, with countless details to consider. One important aspect that often gets overlooked is what to do with your air conditioning unit after it has been relocated. Should you plug it in immediately or let it sit for a while? This article will provide you with the answers you need to ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your AC system.

We’ve all experienced the frustration of a malfunctioning AC on a scorching summer day or the disappointment of having to replace an expensive unit sooner than expected. These scenarios can be avoided by taking the right steps after moving your AC. Whether you’re a seasoned mover or embarking on your first relocation adventure, understanding how long to let your AC sit before turning it on is crucial knowledge that will save you time, money, and unnecessary headaches. So, keep reading to discover the best practices for handling your air conditioning system after a move and ensure cool comfort in your new home.

It is recommended to let an air conditioning unit sit for at least 24 hours after moving before turning it on. This allows the refrigerant and oil to settle back into place, preventing potential damage or malfunctions. Consult the AC unit’s manual or contact a professional technician for specific instructions.


In conclusion, it is recommended to let an air conditioning (AC) unit sit for at least 24 hours after moving before turning it on. This allows the refrigerant to settle and any oil that may have moved during transportation to return to its proper place. Additionally, giving the AC time to acclimate to its new environment helps prevent potential damage or malfunctions.

Moving an AC unit can disrupt its internal components, causing the refrigerant and oil to shift from their intended positions. When the unit is turned on immediately after being moved, this can lead to poor cooling performance or even irreparable damage. Allowing the AC to sit for a day after transportation ensures that everything settles back into place and allows for a smoother transition when it is ultimately powered on.

It is important to note that this recommendation may vary depending on the specific model and manufacturer’s instructions. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult the AC unit’s manual or contact a professional technician if there are any uncertainties about how long to let the AC sit after moving. By following these precautions, you can help maintain the longevity and optimal functioning of your air conditioning system.

Frequently Asked Questions about How Long Should You Let an AC Sit After Moving?

How long should I wait to turn on AC after moving?
A portable air conditioner (as well as any other refrigeration appliance) should be allowed to rest for 30 minutes after being moved. This will allow fluids to settle into their proper places before the appliance is started. Starting too soon can potentially damage the appliance.

How long does an AC need to rest?
Luckily, the majority of modern air conditioning units are effective and do not experience issues with long or short cycles. It is recommended to have the AC off for approximately 7 to 10 minutes after each cycle for optimal performance.

How long does an AC unit need to sit upright?
The suggested time for proper orientation is 12-24 hours of standing. This can be compared to an engine of a car placed sideways, where oil will gradually seep through the piston seals into the cylinder above the piston.

How long does it take for AC coils to dry?
After cleaning your evaporator coils, it is recommended to wait for 30 to 60 minutes before turning the AC back on to allow the system to dry. Keep the access panel off during this time. This will ensure optimal functioning of the AC unit.

Can you use AC after moving it?
If the portable air conditioner has been transported horizontally, it should be placed in an upright position for the same duration of time before being plugged in. If it was on its side for over 24 hours, it should be left standing for 24 hours before being turned on.

Do you need to let AC sit after moving?
When transporting a new and unused unit, it is important to avoid placing it on its side or upside down as this could result in damage to the compressor. If the unit has been on its side or back for an extended period of time, it should be left in an upright position and unplugged for 24 hours.

Jake Newman is Appliance Mastery's expert on refrigeration and cooling systems. With over a decade of experience in the appliance repair industry and certification from NASTeC, Jake is a trusted source of knowledge for homeowners who want to troubleshoot and repair their fridges, freezers, and air conditioning units.

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