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Should You Turn the AC Off When Leaving the House?

Unlocking door with a key.

A common question that many homeowners have is whether they should turn the AC off when leaving the house. There are various factors to consider when answering this question, as it may not always be as simple as yes or no. Knowing how to use your AC effectively will help you with your AC maintenance plan and avoid unnecessary air conditioner repairs.

Energy Use

Home Energy Efficiency

In today’s day and age, with climate change and an energy supply shortage plaguing the world at large, preserving energy is important. Turning your AC off when you are not using it not only reduces your carbon footprint and energy usage but can also save you money on your utility bills. 

However, if you live in a very warm area and you are not going to be out of the house for very long, keeping the AC on when you’re at home might actually save you energy. This is because when you return home to a very hot house, the AC has to work a lot harder to cool the house down, which can result in higher energy consumption. 

While it may seem counterintuitive, in some cases, leaving the AC on when you are not at home is actually the more environmentally friendly option, depending on your particular situation.

Preserving Your AC Unit

Preserving your Trane ac unit

Depending on the AC unit, turning it on and off frequently can result in more wear and tear on the unit, which can ultimately end up costing you more because you will require more repairs and more frequent maintenance. 

Some AC units are designed to stay running indefinitely and, by turning them on and off frequently, you could do damage to the internal mechanisms and components. This can affect the unit’s lifespan and could end up costing you more in the long run.

Smart – Programmable Thermostats

Smart Trane Thermostat

Programmable thermostats can trim dollars from your energy bill by automatically reducing your heating or cooling when you need it least. You can set the thermostat to change the AC levels when you aren’t in the house so you don’t have to turn it off completely. 

Chapman Air & Heat can provide you with a programmable thermostat to create a custom heating and cooling schedule to meet your needs. The range of thermostats features many functions such as Wi-Fi enabling, interactive touch screens, live weather forecasts, filter change reminders, service reminders, and much more.

Pet Safety and AC

Pet Safety and AC

In some cases, keeping the AC on could be a matter of safety. Perhaps you live in a home that can get extremely hot without the AC on. If you have pets living in such a home, and you go out and leave them unattended with the AC off, the temperature inside the house could potentially reach dangerous levels, causing potential asphyxiation and heatstroke. 

In other cases, it could be that it gets so cold that your pets are left highly uncomfortable. Thus, keeping the AC on can ensure that your pets are kept at a safe and comfortable temperature so that they are not put in any danger of overheating or freezing. 

How Long Will You Be Gone?

The important thing to consider is how long you will be away, as this will help determine whether you should turn the AC off or leave it on. If you are going away on holiday for several weeks, it is probably best to turn the AC off. However, if you are simply going out for an afternoon or an evening, it might be best to leave the AC on and raise the temperature a few degrees.

AC units may work harder to reach the desired temperature if they are turned off and then turned back on frequently. The best option for an air conditioner to save money is by raising the thermostat a few degrees during the day when you are not home.

Should you require further assistance with air conditioning maintenance or repairs, contact us at Chapman Air & Heat today! We have been serving the Dallas Greater Metroplex for 43 years!

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