If your air conditioner is working hard all the time, chances are that you are wasting money, that you will need regular repairs and that your AC’s lifespan will be shorter than it should be.
Contrary to popular belief, shutting down your air conditioner or heater during the day is not the best way to save energy. In this post, we’ll discuss how to balance energy efficiency, the desire for comfort and costs to help you decide how often you’ll want your AC to be running during the day.
Should I Turn My Air Conditioner Off During The Day?
When you leave your air conditioner off during the day, you would imagine that the entire system doesn’t have to do any work, which would save you money in the long run. The problem with this conclusion is that your air conditioner actually works harder to bring your indoor temperature to a desired level if it’s off all day than it would if it were kept to a higher, but more consistent temperature while you are away.
It may help to have a basic understanding of how HVAC systems work to see how this is the case. When your AC is turned on, the system is on standby, unless your thermostat indicates that the current temperature is different than what you have set or programmed. This means that under normal conditions, if your HVAC system is right-sized, your air conditioner will only come on periodically to make minor adjustments. If you turn your air conditioner off completely when you leave home for a long period of time, the difference between your desired temperature and your indoor temperature will be quite significant, so that it will take a longer time and more energy to make up the difference when you return and turn your system back on.
The longer and harder your HVAC system works, the more wear and tear the parts and components experience. Just like any appliance, the more an AC is used, the more repairs it will need and the more likely it is that it will need to be replaced sooner. Another consideration is whether you have indoor pets, particularly those that are younger, older or have any chronic health issues. Depending on how quickly your home heats up, the temperature in your home might have negative health outcomes if your AC is turned off for an extended period of time.
The happy medium for many homeowners is to raise the thermostat setting during the hottest times of the year when no one is at home. The Department of Energy recommends keeping your home at 78 degrees when you are home and raising the temperature by seven to ten degrees when you are gone. This allows your system to get some break from the heat, which can help save on energy costs and keep your home more comfortable when you get home than if your system was completely off.
Reasons Your Air Conditioner Won’t Shut Off
If your air conditioner cycles all day long, chances are that something is wrong. Although your best course of action is to have your system inspected by a professional, there are some common culprits for this particular problem.
Sensor Out Of Place
A sensor inside your thermostat gauges the temperature of air coming into your evaporator coil. Your AC may act strangely or keep running all day if this sensor is knocked from its normal position. You can carefully bend the wire that holds the sensor in place so that it is close to the coil, but not touching it to see if that resolves your issue.
Your air conditioning system is designed for a certain size of living space. If your system is too big for your home, your AC may turn on (and off) more frequently than it should, which can cause the compressor and fan controls to fail prematurely.
The most regular part of maintaining your air conditioning system is cleaning or replacing the filters. When dust and other debris build up, air flow is restricted and a number of problems can occur. Change your filters every month or two, or even more often if you have furbabies, if there is construction nearby or if your area is dusty.
Alternative Cooling Methods
Your HVAC isn’t your only lifeline when it comes to cooling. Desktop and ceiling fans are effective cooling devices if you’re wondering how to make an air conditioner colder or even how to keep to keep a room cool that faces the sun. You can reduce the discomfort of recooling your home when you return from work with the help of fans.
Fans recirculate the air in your rooms at their current temperature—they don’t actually cool the air. However, circulating air helps cool the skin and evaporate sweat, which lowers your body temperature.
As your HVAC begins to bring cool air into your home, your fans will circulate that cool air and evenly drop the temperature throughout your entire room. This will help your thermostat control your air conditioner with maximum efficiency.
ABC Can Solve Your Cooling And Heating Problems
If your AC is running constantly, a number of things could be wrong. Rather than spend an entire day watching videos online to try to determine what the problem is and do the fix yourself, trust a professional to get the job done right. The experienced technicians at ABC Home & Commercial Services have the training to handle repairs on any make and model of HVAC system. With ABC’s help, you’ll have your air conditioner back up and runing in no time, so you can save money on utility bills and keep your unit operating at peak efficiency.