Is It Cheaper To Leave Air Conditioner On All Day?

Is It Cheaper To Leave Air Conditioner On All Day Review

Written By: Alexis Bennett

Edited by: Andrew Dunn

Are you wondering whether it is cheaper to turn your AC off or leave it on all day? You are not alone; most homeowners wonder if there is a way for them to save on air conditioning bills by turning their AC off or if it is more energy efficient to leave it on. 

So, we put together some information to help answer your question. In this guide, you will learn:

  • Is leaving your air conditioner on all day cheaper than turning it off?
  • How can you make your air conditioner more energy efficient?
  • When should you turn your air conditioner off to save money?
  • How long does it take to cool your home?
  • And more!

Your air conditioner is one of the most costly systems in your home to run. Luckily, there are a few things you can do as a homeowner to increase your energy savings while maintaining your comfort level.

Do You Save Money By Turning Your Air Conditioner Off During The Day?

The truth is, some homeowners may save money by turning off the air conditioner during the day, while others may cost themselves more money. It depends on how efficiently your unit runs and what the climate is like at your home. 

If you live in a hot climate, turning your air conditioner off will not save you money, because when you turn it back on, it will have to run more often to reduce the temperature in your home. 

The unit will run until your house reaches the temperature you set on the thermostat. If you left the unit on during the day, it would turn on and off throughout the day. 

If you live in a colder climate where your HVAC does not have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature, turning your air conditioner off during the day could help you save money.

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How Long Does It Take To Cool Your Home?

In an average-sized home, it takes approximately three hours to reduce the temperature by 10 degrees. That means if it is 90 degrees when you turn your air conditioner off, it will take about six hours for your home to cool to a comfortable 72 degrees when you get home.

How Can You Increase The Energy Efficiency Of Your HVAC System?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioners consume nearly 6 percent of the energy in the United States. As a homeowner, there are some ways you can help to conserve electricity and lower your energy costs.

Change Your Air Filters

Changing your air filters does more than keeping pollutants out of your air ducts and expensive air conditioning components. It is one of the best ways to keep your central air running efficiently. 

Clogged air filters block airflow, which can cause your evaporator coil to freeze. Because the unit cannot cool the air, your home’s temperature stays above the thermostat setting, and the unit stays on, causing you to have high electricity bills.

OOverheated woman sitting on couch, waving fan and wants to turn air conditioner on thinking it is cheaper to leave on all day

Keep The Outdoor Unit Clean

Your outdoor air conditioning unit needs air. When leaves and debris accumulate around your AC, it can affect the performance and lead to high energy bills. 

Even the most efficient air conditioners with energy star ratings will cost you more in cooling costs if they are not running optimally. 

So, always make sure the area around the unit is free of trash and debris. You can also hose off the outside while the unit is off to remove any dirt or leaves.

Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a great way to circulate the air in your home. While fans do not cool air, they do move it, making spaces more comfortable.  

By using fans, you should be able to comfortably turn the air conditioner off of full speed and up a few degrees.

Turn The Thermostat Up During The Day

Turning your air conditioner off is not the best way to save money, but it is also not a good idea to leave it on full blast all day. When there are higher temperatures, you should turn the thermostat up about five to ten degrees when you leave. 

If the outside temperature is colder, it is okay to turn your air conditioner off while you are gone. 

However, most professionals suggest that instead of turning your air conditioning system off completely that you instead use a programmable thermostat to set the temperature a bit higher during the day in the summer months. 

Depending on where you live, you can turn your air conditioner off during the day during the winter months because your AC will not have to work as hard to lower the temperature in your home when it is cooler outside. 

For more energy-saving air conditioning tips, check out this video:

Install A Programmable Thermostat

If you are like most people, you have come home at least once to find the air conditioner thermostat set to ‘on’ instead of ‘auto’ meaning it has run all day. Only it is too late, and you are stuck paying for a high electric bill. 

Installing a programmable thermostat can help. You can set temperatures for different times of the day, and some models even have a lock feature so no one else can change the temperature. 

There are also smart thermostats like Nest that allow you to change the thermostat settings from your smartphone.

Use Weather-Stripping

The cold air in your home escapes through cracks in windows and doors, and warm air gets in. Installing weather-stripping can help to keep your home cooler and your cooling bills down.

Did You Know Is It Cheaper To Leave Air Conditioner On All Day Facts

Have Your HVAC Serviced

Just like your car needs regular tune-ups, air conditioner maintenance is essential if you want to keep your AC unit running. It can also cut down your utility bills. 

When you have your AC serviced, they will check power to each of your air conditioning unit components, refrigerant levels, air output, and, if necessary, perform any required maintenance.

A Final Note About Leaving Your Air Conditioner On All Day

Whether you choose to turn your air conditioner off during the day or leave it on, you can save money by properly maintaining your air conditioner. A home warranty from a top provider can help you keep your air conditioner working efficiently and help you save money on your monthly cooling bills.