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

June 19, 2020

As the heat increases, so does your energy costs. To keep your AC bills low you might be thinking, is it cheaper to leave your AC on all day in the summer in Portland?

It’s a widespread belief that turning your AC on and off throughout the day is wasteful. This is actually a myth.

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

It’s considerably more taxing for your system to achieve a consistent temperature throughout the day. It can also lead to a lot of stress on your equipment, since it’s frequently turning on and off.

So, on top of it increasing your electricity bills, it may also lead to a reduced life expectancy for your air conditioner.

Regardless, the larger the difference between your house’s temperature and the outside temperature, the higher your AC expenses will be. So, what can you do to stay cool and keep your electric bills down in the hot weather? Here are our ideas based upon recommendations from the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

6 Methods to Enhance Your Air Conditioner’s Energy Efficiency

  1. Tweak Your Thermostat. The DOE affirms that you can spend up to 10% less per year on heating and cooling by increasing your thermostat 7-10 degrees while you’re away at work. Through the hotter months, it’s suggested to set your thermostat at 78 degrees while you’re home and 88 degrees when you’re away. It’s also important to forgo setting your thermostat to a cooler setting than average when you turn on your AC. This doesn’t actually cool down your home any faster, it just results in higher energy costs. While these temperatures could seem high, there are a number of ways to keep cooler without having to always run the AC unit.
  2. Utilize Fans, Curtains and Blinds. ENERGY STAR says dialing up the thermostat by only 2 degrees and using your ceiling fan can lower AC by up to 14% over the course of the warm months. It’s important to remember that fans cool people, not rooms. So, when you leave the room, turn the fan off to be energy efficient. Furthermore, keeping blinds low and curtains shut throughout the day helps keep conditioned air inside. There are also some window coverings intended to deliver extra insulation and improve energy efficiency.
  3. Properly Seal All Doors, Windows and Openings. Leaky cracks all across a home allow for conditioned air to rapidly get out and warmer air to get in. This may result in your AC unit needing to work harder to keep your house cooler and your AC bills to climb. Make certain that any gaps, doors and windows are suitably sealed. Caulking or weather-stripping are quick solutions for leaks or drafts close to windows and doors.
  4. Schedule Regular Tune-Ups. Scheduling air conditioner maintenance assures that your air conditioner is always running at its most efficient. This lets our pro to spot small issues before they become significant troubles. A clean AC unit is generally more efficient and could even live longer.
  5. Install a Smart Thermostat. One of the greatest ways to assure comfort and energy savings is with a smart thermostat. This thermostat intuitively alters the temperature based on your daily schedule. It works with your smartphone to know when you’re at home or out to maximize your energy savings. In fact, ENERGY STAR says that a smart thermostat could possibly save you about $180 every year on energy expenses.
  6. Consider Replacing Your AC. You can anticipate a properly cared for air conditioner to run for 15-20 years. But if you’re frequently contacting us for air conditioning repair or your AC bills are rising with no change in thermostat settings, it might be time for an upgrade. We offer numerous energy-efficient air conditioners, like ENERGY STAR models that can help you save more on cooling without compromising comfort.

Improve Your House’s Energy Efficiency with Three Rivers Heating & Cooling

No one wants to see their energy bill climb during the warmer months. If you’re in search of more ways to keep your energy usage and expenses low this summer, our team can help. Get in touch with us at 503-213-4433 or contact us online now for more info.