Never more than 10 minutes at a time! If your air conditioner is running when a peak load is predicted, the compressor (which is the cooling element) of your conditioner may be one of those to be cycled “off” for up to 10 minutes. It will then go back “on” for at least 20 minutes, and will not go “off” again until every other participating air conditioner in town has also been “off” for 10 minutes. During this time the fan will continue to run so that air will continue to circulate throughout the house. During a typical summer, your air conditioner will by cycled about a dozen days. You should never notice the difference.