fbpx 1.800.245.5469
Should I Turn My AC Off When I’m Not Home
Book Now
Book Now

Should I Turn My AC Off When I’m Not Home

Homeowners consistently ask for ways to save on energy costs without losing the comfort of home air conditioning. While many homeowners begin to look for high-efficiency systems to replace outdated ac units, others look to their thermostat and ceiling fan for a quick solution on how to save on operating costs and stay cool all summer long.

Generally, if you’re going to be away from your home for a short period of time, you can leave your air conditioner on – just set at a higher temperature. If you’re going to be away from your home for a longer period of time, it’s best to turn your ac unit completely off.

Thinking beyond when to run the ac, or just turning the air conditioning system on and off, there are many ways to use the system’s features to save money, keep your system running at its optimal level, and remain cool during heat waves.

The Perfect Temperature?

Many HVAC specialists recommend keeping the thermostat at or near 78 degrees while home. If the temperature is in the 90’s and above, 78 will feel cool and the cost to maintain that temperature is much lower. Air conditioners work hard to remove the humidity and warm air in the home with the help of an evaporator coil, and when homeowners are trying to achieve considerably lower temperatures than the outside air, the central ac unit has to work double time. The idea is to stay within about 15 degrees of the outdoor air temperature.

Of course, everyone has their own personal comfort level, and there are many ways to still please the whole family without breaking the energy bank.

Ductless Air Conditioners

Ductless air conditioning systems are great solutions in a variety of situations. As a solution to homes and spaces that make ducting improbable, ductless systems are handy. Many homeowners believe that ductless systems are plug and play, but they do still require professional installation and have many working components.

Ductless ac units have indoor air handlers that both heat and cool the home, often installed on the walls in each space desired. They still require electrical work, a slim condensing unit, and a condensate drain line for the removed humidity. What makes all of these working parts ideal is the fact that each indoor air handling ac unit can control the temperature for heating or cooling that space.

It is called Zone Control, and with it comes the smartest way to control temperatures in unused spaces, rather than having to close off various air vents throughout the home. This allows everyone to choose their own comfort level.

Ductless is also ideal for larger homes for this very reason. Instead of cooling a 3,000 sq ft home in its entirety, systems without ducts allow homeowners to be selective with how much space they cool or heat, and limit to only the most used space.

All ductless systems come with programmable settings as well, so homeowners are able to set the temperatures to run at the highest efficiency in every zone.

Programmable Thermostats

Just like ductless air conditioning systems, programmable thermostats give homeowners tremendous ac power in cooling their space efficiently. And since almost everything is “smart” and connected in this day and age, homeowners can also control their homes air conditioning system with their smartphone, tablet, or at their desktop from anywhere with wi-fi.

If homeowners have long spans of time that they are not at home — for work, vacations, school, etc. — a programmable thermostat is ideal. Homeowners can set the thermostat to automatically update temperature settings based around their away schedule.

For example:

Air conditioning specialists recommend setting temperatures in the low 80’s if homeowners plan to be gone for several hours. In anticipation of a homeowners return, the temperature can automatically be set to come back down to an ideal 75-78 degrees a half hour prior to your return. That way, homeowners will walk through the door to cool comfortable air without having to tax the system to dramatically cool from high heat if the system has not been running at all (air conditioning has to work twice as hard to take the indoor temperatures from 90 degrees to 75 than from 80; this overworks the system increasing energy costs).

If homeowners prefer sleeping in cooler temperatures (it has been said to increase sleep functions), they can also set the thermostat to go lower near bedtime and adjust in the morning before waking.

Once homeowners set the programs to run, it is automatic and they do not need to think about it. Programmable thermostats allow for day parting, time, and vacation settings. Connect the thermostat to a smartphone, and you have full functionality at your fingertips 24/7.

Unsure of what a good program might look like for your home? Professional HVAC specialists love to talk thermostats and help homeowners find the ideal situation for their needs.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to all air conditioning functionality and operating efficiencies. If a homeowner has dirty filters, or the system has not been maintained each season, then no amount of thermostat adjustment will increase efficiency or reduce the strain on the system. In fact, clean filters are one important aspect that many homeowners do not think about.

Outside of the filter change at every maintenance appointment, homeowners should be checking and changing (or cleaning) filters at least every 3 months. If homeowners have pets or live in cities with a lot more traffic and dust, HVAC specialists recommend changing filters monthly. This allows the air to circulate freely without obstruction that can cause the system to work harder.

Efficient Systems

High efficient and properly sized systems can help homeowners to save on operating costs, and manufacturers are designing better and better systems every year. Ductless systems are also one of the better options for high efficiency when the space is ideal for them.

By installing a system that operates efficiently, keeping it well maintained, and utilizing an adjustable and programmable thermostat, homeowners can see considerable savings on their operating costs without losing any comfort. After all, homeowners invest in air conditioning to use it; so, go ahead and cool down your home every day and consider that maintaining a temperature within 15 or so degrees each day will make the question of having to turn the air conditioner off while your away an obsolete question; the thermostat and high-efficiency system does it for you.

For a new programmable thermostat, estimate on a new high-efficiency system, or general questions about how your system can work for you, call the experts at Bill Howe. Call 1-800 BILL HOWE (245-5469). Friendly and knowledgeable staff are ready to help you achieve maximum comfort.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


How to Clean a Garbage Disposal?

One appliance that often goes overlooked during the kitchen clean-up is the garbage disposal. It is often used, but equally ignored when it comes to cleaning and maintaining it. Cleaning your garbage disposal is...

1 month ago Share Icon
Read More

HVAC Service Price Guide

With the heat being rather unpredictable this year, finding out that your HVAC unit is on the fritz during a heatwave is less than ideal. With regular maintenance, the odds of your system breaking...

2 months ago Share Icon
Read More

Conventional Water Heater vs. Tankless

When it comes time to replace your water heater, you may be exploring the installation of a tankless water heater or conventional water heater. Before installing a new unit, you need to take into...

2 months ago Share Icon
Read More

What Joel C says about us

Very Satisfied. Michael is always on time, Michael has been doing all of the plumbing related to our remodel. He always does exactly what he commits to do within the estimated cost. He keeps me informed if any wrinkles pop up, and his plumbing skills are excellent as we have had no problems or issues arise after he has left. Very professional! Highly recommend.

August 2019


What Rick M says about us

We had other companies come out for estimates on what was considered a major job with jackhammers and replacing cast iron pipes under the house… having been stung before, we wanted another estimate just to make sure we were making an informed decision. The prior estimates went up to $21,000!
Bill Howe sent us an amazing veteran plumber, Dashawn and his co- worker Anthony. Dashawn did a thorough check of the problem, explained what he thought was needed … he did a final check and we were able to see for ourselves what was the problem. He recommended a complete cleaning to de-scale the pipes, and not the major work we dreaded. Thanks to his solid analysis and patience in making sure we saw what he saw, the issue was resolved completely, and saved us thousands of unnecessary work. None of the other estimates included the cleaning; only the major repairs. Thanks to Dashawn’s knowledge, professionalism and honesty, we’re Bill Howe customers.

August 2019


What Carolyn Housman says about us

This was our second excellent experience with Bill Howe. We had a blocked kitchen sink drain 8/5. I was able to get a same day appointment which is AMAZING. Person on phone was very courteous and set me up right away. Tony arrived at the house (called me 30 minutes out so I was able to be ready). He diagnosed the issue (blocked drain, not the garbage compactor) and was able to snake it and ran the water for 10 minutes to be sure the drains were clear. He cleaned up everything and you would not have known he was even there. Thank-you Tony and Bill Howe, you always know how.

August 2019


What Ed Gohlich says about us

Cory was our technician on this job. We had a time sensitive repair issue and Bill Howe understood and assisted with getting the job done quickly.
Cory was on time to start the job and finished it quickly. Upon his leaving our home he’s was courteous, very knowledgeable, explaining what the problem was and how he fixed it. Very good communication and this is the way it’s has always been when we use Bill Howe plumbing.
Great company to work with.
Thanks Cory.

August 2019

Heating & Cooling

What Eric says about us

I had a shower that would not drain. The employee arrived on time and fixed the problem quickly and effectively at a very fair price. I was very happy with everything. Thank you and I highly recommend your plumbing service.

January 2019


What Bridgett says about us

I am extremely happy with the service we received from Bill Howe Plumbing. We were given an incorrect diagnosis of our main sewer line from another vendor, but Bill Howe’s servicemen came out for a second opinion, correctly diagnosed our problem and resolved our back up issues. We will continue to use Bill Howe for all our future plumbing needs!

Thank you Bill Howe Plumbing.

July 2019