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Is it Cheaper to Leave Your AC on All Day in the Summer?

June 19, 2020

As the temp increases, so does your AC costs. To keep your cooling expenses down you could be wondering, is it cheaper to leave your AC on all day in the summer in the Bay Area?

It’s a widespread belief that turning your AC unit on and off throughout the day is wasteful. This is actually not true.

Keeping your AC running constantly means you’re not using it very efficiently. We recommend setting your thermostat higher when you’re out, and turning it down when you come home. You can achieve this with a programmable thermostat. Or, a smart thermostat can do the job for you.

It’s significantly more taxing for your system to keep the same temp for many hours. It can also cause a lot of strain on your equipment, since it’s frequently turning on and off.

So, on top of it increasing your energy bills, it might also cause a shorter life cycle for your HVAC system.

Regardless, the larger the difference between your indoor temperature and the outside temperature, the higher your energy costs will be. So, what can you do to remain cool and keep your electric bills lower in the summer season? Here are our tips based upon recommendations from the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

6 Approaches to Enhance Your Air Conditioner’s Energy Efficiency

  1. Adjust Your Thermostat Usage. The DOE states that you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by turning up your thermostat 7-10 degrees while you’re out of the house. During the summer, it’s recommended to set your thermostat at 78 degrees at the time you’re home and 88 degrees when you’re elsewhere. It’s also important to forgo setting your thermostat to a lower setting than average when you turn on your AC unit. This doesn’t actually cool off your home any quicker, it just leads to more expensive utility expenses. While these temperatures could feel toasty, there are a number of ways to keep cool without having to consistently run the air conditioning.
  2. Utilize Fans, Curtains and Blinds. ENERGY STAR says turning up the thermostat by only 2 degrees and using your ceiling fan can decrease energy by up to 14% during the course of the summer. It’s important to note that fans cool people, not areas. So, when you leave the room, turn the fan off to be energy efficient. Also, keeping blinds low and curtains drawn during the day helps keep chilled air indoors. There are also some window solutions meant to deliver additional insulation and boost energy efficiency.
  3. Properly Seal All Doors, Windows and Openings. Leaky openings around a house let cooler air to rapidly get out and warm air to get inside. This may lead to your AC needing to work harder to keep your home comfortable and your AC costs to climb. Make sure that any gaps, doors and windows are suitably sealed. Caulking or weather-stripping are simple fixes for leaks or drafts around windows and doors.
  4. Plan for Routine Checkups. Scheduling air conditioner maintenance makes sure your unit is always functioning at its most efficient. This permits our pro to spot simple issues before they turn into serious dilemmas. A well-kept AC is typically more efficient and could even live longer.
  5. Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat. One of the easiest ways to ensure comfort and energy savings is with a smart thermostat. This thermostat instinctively changes the temperature based on your regular schedule. It works together with your smartphone to know when you’re home or gone to maximize your energy efficiency. In fact, ENERGY STAR says that a smart thermostat could actually save you about $180 annually on energy bills.
  6. Consider Replacing Your AC Unit. You can figure an adequately cared for AC to run for 15-20 years. But if you’re regularly needing us for air conditioning repair or your AC expenses are rising with no shifts in thermostat settings, it might be time for a replacement. We supply many energy-efficient air conditioners, including ENERGY STAR models that can help you save more on cooling without trading comfort.

Enhance Your House’s Energy Efficiency with Contra Costa Heating & AC

No one wants to see their air conditioning bill rise during the warm months. If you’re wanting more ways to keep your energy usage and expenses down this summer, our experts can help. Give us a call at 510-343-9841 or contact us online today for extra info.