It’s a loaded question if you live in an area where temperatures regularly exceed 100°. You constantly must balance the needs of yourself, your family, and your pets to stay at a supportable temperature against the needs of the machinery you use to control your climate and the costs that can put on your household budget.
A study from the U.S. Department of Energy encouraged people to set their thermostats at higher temperatures to save money. Now, they say to set your thermostats to feel comfortable. However, each degree of heat or cold saves you 5% to 10% on your energy bill. While all machinery needs a break to enjoy a longer life and constant use always shortens equipment’s lifespan, you can use your air conditioner more efficiently with a few simple steps.
Programmable Thermostats are a Great Option
Air conditioners are the most efficient when they are running at full blast. So, if you choose to turn off your AC during the day, it won’t hurt your machinery. However, leaving your AC off during the day can be dangerous for pets and plants. A programmable thermostat is a budget-friendly and comfortable choice. Nowadays, you can even get thermostats that you can control from your phone. With such easy programmability, you can quickly cool off your house before you arrive. So, you can turn up your thermostat to 80°-85° before leaving.
Air conditioners naturally turn off when they reach the desired set temperature, so your AC won’t be on the whole time you are gone. Having the temperature higher means the AC won’t be on as long, and the items, pets, and greenery in your home won’t be adversely affected by extreme temperatures. Leaving your temperature higher also means food items in your house like chocolate and sugar won’t be melting on shelves or need to be stored in the refrigerator.
Turn Off your Air Conditioner
As you can see, the answer to whether you should turn off your AC when away from home is up to you. Turning off your AC can save your budget if it isn’t a safety issue. However, many experts encourage homeowners to turn up their thermostats when away from home. Some homeowners leave their AC on at a higher setting when away from home for short periods but completely shut off the AC when gone for extended periods. If you turn off your AC when away from home in an area where temperatures reach 90° or more, it may take three or more hours for your house to cool down in the evenings.