Is It Worth It to Turn Off Your AC When You Leave the House? - Ballard Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning

Is It Worth It to Turn Off Your AC When You Leave the House?

should i turn off my ac when i leave the house

We’ve all been there – heading out the door and wondering if we should flip that AC switch to “off” to save some cash. But is it really worth it?

Let’s break it down and see if powering down your cooling system when you’re away is a smart move or if it might end up costing you more in the long run.

For short trips: It depends

If you’re just running out for a quick errand or heading to work for the day, the answer isn’t as clear-cut as you might think. Here’s the deal:

The money-saving myth

Your AC doesn’t work harder to cool your home back down after being off. It runs at the same speed regardless of the temperature. It just runs longer to reach your desired temp. But, turning off your AC for part of the day does result in energy savings. Your system runs less overall, which means lower energy bills.

Peak hours matter

Some cities charge more for electricity during peak hours (usually 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.). If that’s the case where you live, cooling your home in the evening might cost more than keeping it cool all day.

Getting too humid

ACs do more than cool – they dehumidify. Turning it off completely could lead to excess humidity, potentially causing mold or damaging electronics and furnishings.

One last thing to consider … coming home to a sweltering house isn’t fun. It could take hours to cool down, especially in hot climates like right here in San Bernardino!

The compromise: Turn it up, not off

For most folks, the sweet spot is turning the thermostat up instead of completely off when you leave. Set it somewhere between 75 and 85 degrees while you’re out. This way, your AC runs less (saving you money) but still kicks on occasionally to keep things under control.

Pro tip: Bumping your thermostat up by 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day can cut your cooling costs by about 10%!

For vacations

When you’re heading out for a longer trip, it’s tempting to shut everything down and save a TON of money on your energy bills … But here’s why you should resist that urge:

Appliance and electronics protection

Your fridge and freezer have to work much harder in a hot house, potentially leading to breakdowns or spoiled food. Also, high temperatures can damage sensitive electronics by melting internal components.

The bottom line

For vacations, set your thermostat between 85-90 degrees. This keeps things in check without cooling an empty house.

While shutting off your AC completely when you leave might save a few bucks in the short term, it’s usually not worth the potential downsides. Instead, opt for raising the temperature when you’re away for the day, and keep it running (but higher) when you’re on vacation.

Your wallet – and your sweat glands – will thank you! If you need AC repair or have any questions, you can always contact Ballard online for the best service in San Bernardino, or call us at 909-297-1914.

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