During a hot July in Southern California, you likely rely on your air conditioning unit to keep you comfortable in your home. However, if you are going out for the day, you may wonder whether it is best to turn the system off or leave it running.
While turning the air conditioner off will prevent it from running when there is no one home to feel the heat, the system will have to work to get back to your ideal temperature upon your return. The question of what to do when you leave is a vital one because it not only impacts your energy bill, but depending on what you choose to do, it may also increase your carbon footprint.
Leaving the AC on Wastes Energy
According to experts, when you leave, you should turn off your air conditioner. Running the system will waste more energy than the system will use to get the temperature back to your preferred level when you get back home.
When the air conditioner operates at its maximum capacity, it will also perform better when removing humidity from the air. Running the system all the time to maintain a constant temperature wastes money and causes more pollution.
How to Cope When Coming Home to a Warm House
There are ways to save energy without suffering too much when you walk in the door. One option is to set up a programmable thermostat. These systems can turn on before you get home so that you get to enjoy that blast of cool air when you step through the front door, without shelling out money to cool an empty building all day.
If you have a window unit, you may want to purchase an appliance timer. Some newer window unit air conditioners have features that allow you to turn them on at a specific time, similar to the way that a programmable thermostat works. While there might be an upfront expense for these features, they can save you cash down the road.
Lower Your Reliance on the Air Conditioner and Save
Every degree that you move the thermostat down will lead to a three to five percent increase in energy usage. Those increases will show up on your bills. Of course, you have the air conditioner for a good reason, but if you make some simple changes, you may be able to cool off your house so that the system does not need to run as often.
The following strategies can help to lower the temperature to save on energy:
Plant Large Shrubs Outside
Planting large shade bushes on the west side of your home can prevent some daytime heat from affecting your interior temperatures.
Weatherstrip Your Windows and Doors
Weatherstripping is inexpensive and will help keep the hot air outside and your cool air inside.
Use Appliances Like the Oven at Night
Appliances such as the oven and the dryer emit heat. Using them at night when it is cooler will reduce their impact on the interior temperature.
Close Your Blinds When You Leave
Closing the blinds takes only a second, but it prevents the sun from baking the interior of your home all day long.
Install Proper Insulation
Insulation can help to keep your home’s temperature stable and reduce the loss of your cold air throughout the day.
You should also ensure that your air conditioner is running well and performing at peak efficiency. Contact Rowland Air when you need to schedule a regular tune-up, repair, or installation – we’re here to help!