Why Is it Important to Turn Off the Air Conditioning?

Summer offers ideal weather to enjoy the great outdoors. The heat can be ruthless though, and sometimes it is necessary to escape into the cool refuge of our air conditioned homes. You may be tempted to leave your air conditioning running all day so that your home is comfortable upon your return, but constantly running the AC can waste energy and money. Understanding how air conditioning works and how to use it will help you cool your home most efficiently.


How Air Conditioning Works

To understand why it is not necessary to leave an air conditioner running all the time, it is helpful to know how the air conditioner works. An air conditioner cools your home by removing both hot air and moisture. Warm air is pulled through the vents and passed over a cold coil. It is then released into your home as cold air. It usually only takes a properly installed system seven to 10 minutes to begin working at maximum efficiency.

Saving Money

Air conditioning can be a luxury as well as a necessity. While a cool house is enjoyable, it is important to realize that your AC is blowing your cash. The lower you set your unit's thermostat, the more it is costing you to run your unit. This is also true for the length of time you have it running. Leaving your AC on while you aren't home, particularly at a very low temperature, is simply wasting money.

Saving Energy

Running an air conditioner all day doesn't only waste your money, it also wastes energy. There are many things you can do around your house to live a greener lifestyle and limiting your air conditioning usage is one of them. While turning up the temperature on the unit when you leave home will help with this, the best way to save energy is to simply turn the air conditioning unit off when you leave your home.

Air Conditioning Efficiency

If you are utilizing your air conditioning as efficiently as possible, running the unit all day isn't necessary. A properly running unit can cool your home quickly if turned on when you arrive home. Some ways to ensure that the unit runs properly are to regularly change the air filters in the unit, make sure your windows are properly sealed and caulked and remember to keep exterior doors closed while keeping interior doors open to ensure proper air flow.

Tips to Stay Cool

While air conditioning is a quick way to get comfortable during the summer months, there are other ways to stay cool and avoid running your unit constantly. Ceiling fans can help to circulate air in your home and help you to feel at least five degrees cooler. After sundown, opening windows and allowing cooler night air to flow through house will also help to reduce your home's indoor temperature. Window fans also help to draw the cooler air in and cool your home while you sleep. Some days are simply too uncomfortable not to use your air conditioning, but for the sake of saving energy and money it is helpful be aware of other ways to cool your home so you can use your air conditioner properly and sparingly.

Stephanie Williams

Stephanie Williams is a freelance writer based in Chicago. Her work has appeared in "Newcity Magazine." She has covered various topics including cooking, arts & entertainment and fitness since 2003. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in dance from Millikin University.