The weather is warm, but not too warm, and spring is in the air. One mistake a lot of homeowners make when the temperature gets into the high 60s is turning off the air conditioner off an on. But did you know there’s a fine line between saving money on energy and actually driving the costs up?
If you keep turning your air conditioner on and off, you may end up needing an air conditioning replacement prematurely!
In this post we’ll discuss when you should turn off your air conditioner and when to leave it alone.
What Happens When You Turn Off Your Air Conditioner
First things first. Your air conditioner is not your hair dryer. You can’t just turn it on and off. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. Air conditioners are massive machines that take a lot of energy to get going. Not only that, but air conditioners are designed to be the most efficient when they’re running at full speed. That’s also when they work best to dehumidify your home.
Turning your air conditioner in and off forces it to run at lower speeds for shorter periods, which ends up worse for you because now you have both a hot house and a high energy bill.
It also adds extra strain on your unit, which can age it prematurely, resulting in you needing an emergency AC replacement.
When It’s Okay to Turn Your AC Off
There are a few times it’s okay to turn off your air conditioner when it’s nice out:
If you’re opening the windows. Opening the windows in spring is crucial to the indoor air quality in your home. Think about it: for the past six months, your home has mostly been re-circulating the same stale air. Opening the windows in spring invite fresh air into your home, which allows that fresher air to then be spread throughout the home. However, if you’re opening the windows for an extended period of time you need to turn off your air conditioner or pay the price in your energy bill.
If you’re going to leave it off for an extended period of time. An extended period of time is more than 4 hours. It’s okay to turn off your air conditioner when you’re at work, or when the weather is nice enough that your home needs no air conditioning.
When You Shouldn’t Turn Off Your AC
Want to avoid an AC replacement? Avoid turning off your central air conditioner when:
When it’s too cold inside. Don’t turn your air conditioning off, just adjust the temperature.
When you’re stepping out for a short period of time. If you’re only going to be gone a couple hours, it will save you more money to leave it on.
How to Save Money on Your Air Conditioning Bills
If you really want to save money on your energy bills, we suggest you try:
- Closing your drapes or purchasing energy-efficient ones. The sun heats our entire earth, so it’s not surprising a little bit of sunlight will warm up a room in your home. Close the drapes to keep the sun out.
- Installing ceiling fans. While ceiling fans don’t actually cool a room, they do make it feel cooler through evaporation. The moving air has an evaporative effect on your skin, making it feel cooler.
- Changing your filters regularly. Blocked filters block air flow, which makes your air conditioner have to work harder.
- Getting annual air conditioning maintenance. Annual maintenance will keep your unit running in peak condition, which also means peak efficiency.
- Installing an energy-efficient air conditioner. If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it will save you money in the long run to replace it. The longer you keep it around the higher your bills will climb! If you need an air conditioner replacement, contact us today!