Which Is More Efficient: Turning AC On and Off vs. Leaving It On

Optimizing the way you use your air conditioner can make a significant impact on your energy bills. While we all want to maintain a comfortable temperature in our home, constantly running your air conditioner can get expensive quickly. If you’re wondering about the benefits of turning your AC on and off vs. leaving it on, this article will help you find the most cost-effective option. 

At Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling, we have years of experience installing and servicing air conditioners. Plus, we know precisely how to maximize the efficiency and lifespan of your air conditioning system. If you’re interested in anything you read in this article or have further questions, speak to Kansas City’s AC tune-up experts at (816) 330-2741 today.

Let’s Start Simple

Before discussing ways to reduce your energy bills with an energy-efficient air conditioner, let’s cover some basics first. Although many people believe that it is more costly to turn your AC on and off vs. leaving it on, this is entirely false. 

People often base this belief on the idea that powering on your system requires a burst of energy, so leaving it running would minimize energy usage by reducing these bursts. While it is true that powering on your system requires additional electricity, the idea that leaving your air conditioner running saves electricity is highly flawed. 

At Air Unlimited, we have provided thousands of clients with efficient cooling solutions for their homes. Throughout the years, we’ve learned a lot about ensuring your system is operating at peak efficiency for as long as possible. The following section will cover a few issues we’ve seen clients encounter when they choose to leave the air conditioner running at all times.

Problems With Leaving Air Conditioner Running

Wasted Energy

First of all, leaving your air conditioner running at all times leads to waste. No one spends all of their time at home, so running your air conditioner while not at home means spending money on cooling that won’t impact you. With the budget tightening for many families across the country, improving your air conditioning habits can significantly ease the burdensome energy bills that accompany hot weather. 

Even if you prefer leaving your air conditioner running when you’re home, we recommend turning your system off anytime you leave the house for more than an hour or two. This practice can lower your energy bill and save you money in other ways.

Lowered System Life-Span

HVAC systems and other air conditioning options are complex and sometimes delicate machines. Various parts have to work together in unison for your cooling system to provide efficient temperature control to your home. In addition, while the components used in air conditioning systems are relatively durable, no material is entirely invincible. 

Leaving your air conditioner running at all times can dramatically increase the speed of the wearing process. With no time for the system to rest or cool down, excess heat can build up within the AC unit itself, causing damage to various components over time. While strategically powering your air conditioner on and off can significantly impact energy savings alone, the savings on maintenance costs can be even more substantial.

Environmental Impact

While we understand that the priority for most clients is maximizing savings, choosing to turn your air conditioner off when it’s not needed can also reduce your carbon footprint. Air conditioners use a lot of energy, so using them properly is a great way to reduce your household’s overall energy usage.

Why People Choose to Leave the AC Running

While this article has covered many reasons why leaving your AC running isn’t a great idea, we also understand why some people choose to do it. Nobody likes coming home to a house that’s uncomfortably warm after work, and waiting for your air conditioner to cool off your home can be frustrating. 

Because of this, many people choose to leave their air conditioner running while they’re gone. Unfortunately, this is an imperfect solution, as this strategy comes with the downsides we discussed above. Fortunately, an excellent alternative exists in programmable thermostats.

Programmable Thermostats

A programmable thermostat offers a perfect middle ground between turning your AC on and off vs. leaving it on. These devices allow you to input a desired temperature or temperature range, which the thermostat will maintain. 

The thermostat accomplishes this by measuring the air temperature in your home and powering the air conditioner on and off as needed. While using a thermostat will still use more energy than leaving your system off altogether, it solves the problem of coming home to an uncomfortable temperature with the least amount of waste possible. 

If you have central air and heating, a thermostat can control your heater and air conditioner as needed to maintain the desired temperature. This solution is the most convenient possible option, as users can maintain a consistent indoor temperature throughout the day and night. 

With recent advancements in technology, the potential functionality of thermostats goes far beyond maintaining a specific temperature range. For example, smart-wifi thermostats allow users to use an application on their mobile device or tablet to control the thermostat, even when they aren’t at home. This feature is a game-changing convenience and is an exciting option for people interested in equipping their homes with the latest technologies.

Factors That Influence AC Efficiency

A variety of factors can impact the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems. If you’ve noticed your energy bill has gone up recently, the following sections will give you some ideas of what might be wrong.

Clogged Filters

When the filters in your air conditioner get dirty, the motor has to work harder to maintain typical air pressure. When this occurs, the system uses more electricity to accomplish the same task of cooling your home. If your air conditioner seems to be working more slowly than usual or your electricity bill is too high, replacing your air filters can significantly improve your system’s performance.

Faulty Seals

While your air conditioner plays a significant role in maintaining your home’s temperature, it doesn’t do it alone. The ability of your walls and windows to keep heat out when it’s warm outside can take a lot of stress off of your air conditioner. In addition, a well-insulated home is much more affordable to heat and cool, so explore this option if you’re interested in saving money on electricity.

Aging Motor

Even the most advanced and efficient air conditioning systems are vulnerable to wear. Over time, several air conditioner components will need attention or replacement, but the motor is particularly crucial. This piece powers your entire air conditioner, so your whole system will suffer if it’s not running up to its full potential.

Call Today

If this article has given you some ideas about improving the energy efficiency of your home air conditioning system, it’s time to call the professionals. When you need the best quality of service for the most affordable price in Kansas City and the Liberty area, you need AC services by Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling

Now that you know which is better between turning your AC on and off vs. leaving it on, the expert team at Air Unlimited can help you install the temperature control system of your dreams. Whether you’d like to optimize your system by upgrading your thermostat or want to install a new system entirely, you can always call Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling at (816) 286-7258.

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