Now that warm temperatures have arrived and are impacting our day-to-day lives, many individuals are faced with the age-old question, “Should I turn my air conditioner off when I leave home, or leave it on?” Many believe leaving the unit on will increase their electrical costs. Others believe that it places an unnecessary strain on the system. Then, there are those that elect to turn the AC and other items off in order to prevent potentially devastating fires and other situations from arising. While there is a vast amount of information out there that says that you should – in fact – turn off your air conditioner, the truth of the matter is, you really should not.

Residential Central Air Conditioner Unit

The Negative Consequences of Turning Off Your AC When Not at Home

Most individuals argue that leaving an air conditioner on while away from home will result in undue utility expenses; however, it turns out that not leaving your air conditioner on while away from home could cause many more complications than just additional costs on your electric bill. The following outlines the complications that could result from turning the system off:

  1. Appliance Stress – There are certain types of appliances that are designed to remain cool. These include your refrigerator and your freezer. By ensuring that the indoor temperatures run cooler, these appliances are better able to operate efficiently. If you turn the air conditioner off while you are not at home, these appliances will be required to work harder to maintain their internal temperatures. Even if the air conditioner is off and not running up your electricity bill, the additional work of these appliances will still result in higher electrical costs. Furthermore, the strain could result in poor performance, breakdowns, and the spoilage of the foods contained within the refrigerator and/or freezer.
  2. Pantry Effects – Given the fact that we briefly mentioned food spoilage, it is important to understand that other foods that you keep in your pantry – canned goods, breads, beans, rice, potatoes, and similar items – may also spoil if exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time.
  3. Increased Humidity Levels – Your air conditioner is designed to automatically control the amount of humidity that occurs within your home. If you turn the system off, the humidity will reach excessive levels. In turn, this could result in the development of mold and mildew and unfavorable odors. Other effects of severe humidity levels include the building materials of your home becoming warped, paint and wallpaper to peel, furniture to suffer from ill effects, and the cabinetry and the floors of your home to suffer from varying degrees of damage.
  4. Impact on Electronics – If you are like most, your home is probably full of electronics such as television sets, radios, cell phones, cameras, video game systems, security systems, and other types of alarms. Each of these are created using sensitive electronic components – such as circuits, breakers, and motors – that may melt or completely break down if exposed to excessive temperature levels.
  5. Health Hazards – According to research, hot temperatures could result in the doubling or tripling of dangerous bacteria growth that could negatively impact your health. The germs that develop from this bacterial growth could result in respiratory problems, allergies, and other illnesses. They may even grow in your food products and result in the development of food poisoning when you consume those foods. Another health hazard of a home that is too hot is the attraction of certain pests – such as dust mites, bed bugs, lice, spiders, and rodents – all of which come with their own level of dangers.
Air Conditioning Units

What to Do?

Now that you know that turning the air conditioner off when you are not at home – be it you are at work, off for the day, off for the weekend, or on vacation – is a situation that could result in many negative consequences, what is it that you should do? The answer is very simple. You should integrate a programmable thermostat into your home that aids in the climate control of the indoor region when the air conditioner is powered on. Instead of turning the unit off, you can simply turn the thermostat up anywhere between 5 and 10 degrees while you are away. In doing so, you will reap the following benefits:

  1. There will be absolutely no stress placed on the large appliances of your home.
  2. You can rest assured that all of the food in your pantry will stay fresh and edible.
  3. The humidity levels in your home will be controlled around the clock and you will not have to worry over the development of mold, mildew, or anything being damaged by excessive humidity levels.
  4. All of the electronics within your home will stay fully functional.
  5. You will not have to suffer any ill effects associated with your health because of the accumulation of heat within the home.

In addition to the above-mentioned benefits, you will also reap the following rewards:

  • By turning up your thermostat and leaving your air conditioner on while you are away from your home, you can save up to 10% on your cooling costs each summer.
  • You will find that your home is more comfortable on a regular basis than if you turned the air conditioner off and had to come back home and wait on the unit to cool your home.
  • Your air conditioner will actually last longer than if you constantly turned it on and off.
Programmable Thermostat Wikimedia
photo by wikimedia

Get Your Programmable Thermostat Installed Now

Take the challenge out of maintaining the indoor climate of your home by purchasing and having a programmable thermostat installed in your home today. We here at Reynolds can help determine which type of thermostat would work best with your system. Then, we can quickly install the device for you. Before you know it, you will have complete control over your system at all times. For more information, contact us today by calling: 765-966-0994