Does Turning Off the AC When You Go Out Save Money?

Air conditioners are a necessity throughout the hot, arid desert climate that surrounds Phoenix, especially during the sweltering summer months. Even so, in an effort to save money on monthly energy bills, many homeowners throughout Phoenix, Arizona, and the surrounding metro areas have taken to turning off their air conditioner entirely when they leave the house for the day. 

While this may produce some immediate savings, the truth is that turning off an air conditioner every time you leave the house could end up costing you a considerable chunk of change in the long run. Fortunately, there are plenty of other steps you can take to reduce the amount of energy your AC consumes on a daily basis without turning it off entirely and putting other areas of your home at risk.

Why Turning the AC Off Is a Problem

Keeping your Home Cool Turning off the air conditioner when no one home certainly saves energy, but it can also cause other potentially expensive problems within your home over time. While the chief task of an AC is to cool air, the appliance also works to keep the moisture in the air inside your home under control. When you turn off your air conditioner, the humidity inside your home rises.

Moisture may accumulate on walls and other surfaces, leading to water damage and even mold growth over time. Repairing these issues will generally cost more than simply leaving your air conditioner on all day responsibly.

Aside from these long-term issues, turning your AC off during the day simply may not save as much money as you’d think. When your house is kept consistently cool, your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to adjust the temperature up or down.

When you turn off the AC entirely and let the house fill with sweltering Phoenix summer heat, your HVAC system has to work much, much harder to bring the temperature back down again. This also places strain on the system itself, which leads to inefficient cooling, higher bills, frequent repairs, and premature failure.

So, is it cheaper to leave the air conditioner on all day? After taking these details into consideration, it’s easy to say that, yes, leaving the air conditioning on all day is by far the cheaper and more responsible option for homeowners in the long run. Instead of turning your AC off, simply turn it down to a reasonable level while you’re away in order to conserve energy.

Use Other Methods to Conserve Energy

Turning off your AC isn’t the way to go if you’re looking to save some cash, but neither is leaving your air conditioner on all day on full blast. Instead, it’s important to find a happy medium that keeps the humidity inside your home under control without using too much unnecessary energy cooling rooms that no one is occupying. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to approach energy conservation where your AC is concerned, and most of them are simple changes within your home and how you go about your daily routine.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

One of the best and easiest things you can do to cut back on your energy usage throughout the day is installing a programmable thermostat. These allow users to set up a cooling schedule, allowing the air to become warmer (but not intensely hot) while away but cooling off before everyone comes home after finishing up their everyday schedules. 

They give you more control over your home’s energy usage in a practically effortless manner. Some thermostats allow you to set up a cooling schedule for up to an entire month at a time, and others offer smartphone accessibility so you can alter that schedule with ease whenever the need arises.

Keep the Heat Down Inside

Implementing a programmable thermostat is the biggest step you can make to take control of your energy usage and monthly energy costs, but there are certainly other measures you can take to supplement the efforts. Take measures to keep the exterior heat outside of your home by creating a cool, closed-off “pocket” of cool air. You can do this by:

  • Closing doors and windows
  • Ensuring doors and windows don’t have any cracks for hot air to creep in through
  • Closing your blinds and curtains to keep out the heat

Additionally, if you intend to be gone for an extended period of time (such as a vacation), you can unplug large appliances to keep the heat at a minimum while you’re away. Taking these steps cuts down on the heat seeping into your home from multiple sources, which means your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool.

Maintain Your Air Conditioner Properly

Another excellent way to ensure your energy usage stays as low as possible is performing and investing in proper maintenance for your AC unit. When you’re leaving your air conditioner on all day, a lot of air is moving through your system. That means a great deal of debris is getting caught up in your system’s air filter. Over time, too much debris buildup causes your AC to struggle to move air through your home, reducing efficiency and effectiveness. Replace your filter according to the filter’s packaging or your AC unit’s owner’s manual to keep operations running smoothly and energy costs low.

A clogged air filter isn’t the only common issue that negatively impacts your air conditioner’s ability to work smoothly and move air through your home with ease. Blocked or dirty air registers and vents are another issues that homeowners struggle against when trying to save on their monthly energy bills. Take the time to ensure no vents or registers are blocked by furniture, dirt, or other household items. Integrating your vents into your regular cleaning routine is an excellent practice that helps to ensure you’re always facilitating smooth, easy airflow throughout your home.

Invest in Inspections

You can clean your vents and change your air filter on your own, but sometimes you simply need a pair of trained eyes to find potential issues with your HVAC system. Invest in regular inspections from a team of professionals to ensure your air conditioner is running smoothly and that your home is enjoying optimal efficiency throughout the year. 

Taking this step also allows professionals like those at Day & Night to easily identify small, trivial issues and repair them before they can become serious, budget-draining problems.

Get More Tips to Save Money and Conserve Energy

If you’re truly interested in conserving as much energy as possible while combating the Phoenix, AZ, heat and want to save money, contact Day & Night today. We’ll introduce you to new air conditioning systems and a wide range of tips that can help you do exactly that. If you’re looking to get the most out of your air conditioning every day, don’t leave your air off. Instead, simply consult our professionals for more information on how you can keep your home cool and efficient in smarter, more forward-thinking ways.