It’s a simple fact: we cannot live without AC in Florida, and if we do, we probably don’t like it. We may think that we are energy-conscious individuals, but as soon as the mercury rises above 80 degrees on our thermostats, we are quick to crank them down and cool the home.
Air conditioning uses more electricity than any other appliance in the typical home. Air conditioners account for nearly 5 percent of the total electricity produced in the U.S. Here, we look at how turning your AC on and off does indeed use more energy than leaving it on.
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How Much Energy Your AC Uses Turning On and Off
The struggle is real between saving energy and money — and staying cool and comfortable in Tampa Bay’s hot heat and humidity. Many people live by the assumption that it’s better to shut off your air conditioner if you’re away from home for more than a couple of hours — rather than waste energy to cool an empty home. Essentially, this is true as not using energy will always save energy overall.
The other school of thought regarding leaving the AC on or off states that it’s better to keep the AC running—even if it is set to a higher temperature, while you’re away for the day or on vacation. The claim here is that the air will continue to circulate,protect your furnishings and ensure that you are cool when you re-enter your home.
A thermostat is responsible for telling your AC unit to turn on and off as the room reaches the set temperature. Changing the temperature on your thermostat does not make the system work faster or slower, just turns your system on and off at different rates. A programmable thermostat allows for the best of both schools of thought regarding turning your AC on and off frequently. You can turn off your system when you leave in the morning and go to your phone or computer to turn it back on to ensure you come back home to a comfortable house.
More information about programmable thermostats can be found in our blog: Why a Programmable Thermostat Might Be Right For Your Home.
Will a Ceiling Fan Keep Your Home Cool While You’re Away?
No, ceiling fans recirculate the air already present inside so these will serve to cool your skin while you are in the room. Basically, fans cool people — not rooms!
How to Save Energy With Your AC
No matter what you choose to do with your air conditioner, there are several things you can do in order to lessen your AC’s workload:
- Make sure the windows and doors are closed
- Close the blinds or drapes during the hottest part of the day
- Have your system serviced annually
- Change your filters regularly
- Locate a qualified professional, like the ones at Climate Design in order to check your refrigerant levels and ductwork
By following these simple guidelines, you won’t be faced with the confusion of turning your AC off or on. While turning your AC off and on does use more energy, you’ll still be able to save energy and money by giving the professionals at Climate Design a call in order to provide proper AC maintenance.