After coming home to an uncomfortably hot and stuffy house during a hot summer evening, you may be wondering whether leaving your AC on while you’re away is a good idea. You might also be wondering whether you are saving energy by shutting off the AC when you’re not home. Another option is, is it better to just run it at the same temperature all day? Wasting energy will not only cost you a few extra dollars, but it also requires burning more fuel, which also contributes to global climate change. Read on to explore the options that you have with your AC.
Is Leaving Your AC on All Day a Wise Decision?
Most people think that it’s a waste of energy to turn the AC on and off. However, it will save you a fair amount of money. Your AC unit runs most efficiently when it’s running at full speed. By keeping the AC on all day, you won’t be utilizing it efficiently. While your system will make more noise when cooling your home down from an uncomfortable 85 degrees to a cool 65, it will use less energy doing so than it would be running all day. In addition, having an AC on all day contributes to its wear and tear.
Keeping the AC running all day to maintain a specific temperature requires more energy. Your unit is also better at dehumidifying your home when running at full speed. So, the answer to the question is don’t run your AC all day if you are not home. Use it only when necessary to prolong its lifespan and improve efficiency.
Full Speed Equals Highest Efficiency
Your AC unit is designed to strip excess humidity and heat from your indoor air when working at full efficiency. The fan will move the hot air from your house into the evaporator coil. The coil has a refrigerant that absorbs the air’s heat energy and converts the liquid refrigerant into a gas. As heat is pulled from the interior air, the blower moves the cooled air into your home. The system then sends the heated refrigerant into the compressor. Your AC’s outdoor fan then distributes the heat energy into the exterior air while the compressor pressurizes the refrigerant and returns it to its liquid state.
When your AC is running to maintain a specific temperature over a long period, it will execute the same process but with lesser heat energy in your air to be processed. As a result, the compressors and fans will be running and consuming excess energy while only accomplishing minimal temperature adjustments and alterations. The continuous on-and-off cycle that most people use to prevent the temperature from rising above the thermostat setting often places the most strain on the AC unit.
Use a Programmable Thermostat to Manage Your AC
Turning your AC off while you are away from home will save on power. You will also benefit from installing a programmable thermostat. You could use the thermostat to schedule your AC to turn off when you leave the house for work and turn it back on a few minutes before you get home. You don’t need to come home to an uncomfortably hot and humid house that’s been warming up all day. Installing a programmable thermostat will not only help you manage your energy consumption, it will also keep your home cool. You will be coming home to a freshly cooled house while saving on energy costs. The experienced technicians at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. will install the programmable thermostat and advise you on the best one in the market based on your preferences and needs.
AC Maintenance Will Improve Your Unit’s Efficiency
Normal and inevitable wear and tear will progressively reduce your unit’s operational efficiency. Our technicians from Polar Air & Heating, Inc. can tune it up. We lubricate and clean moving parts, check on your refrigerant levels and replace any parts on the verge of failure. Scheduling seasonal maintenance with us will ensure that your air conditioning system runs as efficiently as possible. Your power consumption will also remain under control as cool air flows throughout your house whenever you need it. We recommend you schedule maintenance twice a year — once in fall and once in spring.
A technician from Polar Air & Heating, Inc. will do the following checks on your AC:
- Inspect and clean the cabinet and coil
- Cleaning dirt and debris from the outdoor unit
- Check the control box
- Check refrigerant level
- Clan and inspect the condenser oil
- Cycle and inspect the operating controls
- Check refrigerant lines for leaks
- Inspection of wiring and line voltage
- Check electrical connections
- Inspect condensate line for proper drainage
- Inspect and replace filters
What to Do During Vacations
If turning off your air conditioner during the day when you are not home saves you money, you can save even more money when the unit is off during vacations. While this is correct, you should consider how humid and hot the house might get while you are traveling. If the weather is very humid, it’s wise to leave the AC on. This will protect your home from moisture buildup. Too much moisture in the house could trigger mold growth. When you factor in moisture buildup and humidity levels during vacation, you may consider keeping the AC on.
You can set your thermostat to maintain a higher temperature than you normally would when home — maybe 78 degrees. While the temperature may be higher than what you would normally be comfortable with, it will prevent excessive moisture buildup in the house. The higher temperature setting will also reduce the system’s power usage. This is because an AC consumes around 3-5% less energy for every degree that you increase on the thermostat setting.
When Should I Leave My AC on?
There are important times when your AC should remain on. One of those instances is if you have pets in the house. If you leave your furry friend in the house when you go to work, ensure that your AC is on for their comfort. Keep in mind that the average body temperature for your dog or cat is around 4 degrees higher than that of humans — what is comfortable for you is also comfortable for your furry friend. While this may cost a little extra, it’s essential for your pets’ health and safety.
Contact Us Today
At Polar Air & Heating, Inc., we have trustworthy and well-experienced technicians who can ensure your indoor comfort throughout the hot summer months. We repair, replace and tune-up air conditioners of all makes and models in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. Our main goal is to ensure that you and your family are comfortable and safe. Call us today to schedule a maintenance or a service appointment. Our technicians are always on standby to serve your AC needs. We can also provide you with heating and indoor air quality services.