Turning off the air conditioner when you leave the house for the day can certainly save you on electricity costs; your AC won’t consume any electricity, after all. However, it won’t save you any money in the long run and could even end up costing you more money!
Keeping your Home Cool Preserves What’s Inside
Your home will naturally warm up after you turn your air conditioning unit off, and after a few hours of Phoenix summer heat, your home will become increasingly hotter. As it heats up, wooden floorboards, doors and cabinets can warp. If you have indoor plants or animals, unchecked summer heat could be very dangerous or even fatal for them.
The Energy & Cost-Effective Solution from Day & Night Air
At Day & Night Air, we recommend that our customers work around their energy plan to strike a balance between savings AND comfort.
For example, if your energy plan’s on-peak (read: most expensive) hours are from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, try to avoid using power as much as possible during those times.
To do so, set your programmable thermostat to pre-cool the house for an hour or two before 3 p.m. by changing the set point temperature as low as it will go beginning at 1 p.m. The system will not be able to pull the indoor temperature all the way down to the lowest setting, but it will run for two hours straight to get your home as cool as possible before on-peak time starts.
Set your programmable thermostat to a temperature of 85 degrees between 3 p.m and 6 p.m. for on-peak hours. Your home will gradually begin to warm, but the AC will not likely need to kick on at all during those hours.
After on-peak hours end at 6 p.m., set the programmable thermostat to the normal temperature you like to keep the house and the AC will again run for an extended time to bring the inside of your home back down to that temperature.
With a clean filter and coils, there should not be concerns with freezing coils during these longer run times. Like highway mileage on your car, once the AC system has the opportunity to run for over seven minutes, it will usually achieve its most efficient “highway mileage” state and stay running at that efficiency until the desired temperature is reached. It will then cycle on and off as normal to maintain that temperature.
Between the longer run times at optimal efficiency in non-peak hours and the system NOT turning on at all during on-peak energy times, the balance between savings and comfort can be found. You will likely notice a substantial difference in your energy usage from previous summers with this technique.