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Air Conditioning Checking

Does Turning Your AC On and Off Cost More?

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

AC Controler

Turning AC On and Off vs Leaving It On

During the summer, a lot of homeowners want to know how to shave money off of their Florida electric bills. This is a common but important question we get all the time:

Is it better to turn the AC off when you leave? Or is it more efficient to leave it on all day?

What seems like a simple question, is a little more complicated though. This question is actually two questions. When trying to optimize your AC’s energy usage, you need to look at the difference between on and off, or auto and off.

“ON” vs “AUTO” — Which Costs More?

It may seem like “AUTO” is the more expensive option. After all, modern air conditioners are meant to cycle for shorter cycles, but in more frequent durations right? But actually, the “ON” setting costs more.

“ON” Setting: Your AC fan stays on 24 hours a day and circulates the air throughout your home continuously.

“AUTO” Setting: Your AC fan shuts off with the rest of the cooling system as soon as it reaches the temperature on your thermostat.

According to Florida Power & Light, a fan switched to “ON” will cycle 200 hours more per month than a fan switched to “AUTO.” Another benefit of keeping your fan on “AUTO” is that your AC is less likely to freeze up.

Air conditioners suck water out of the air like a straw. That moisture collects on the system’s coils. When the fan is on “AUTO,” the break in the air stream allows the coils inside of your air conditioner time for the condensation to drip off into the drain pan. However, when the fan is switched to “ON” less of the condensation can drop off – because more moisture is being added all the time. Some moisture may be blown back into the air, or freeze over the coils in your air conditioner causing an obstruction.

Does Turning the System “OFF” While You’re at Work Save Money?

Jennifer Thorne Amann, building programs director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says yes – turn off your AC!

Air conditioning systems run most efficiently when they’re going at full speed, Amann says. They are also better able to dehumidify your house when they run at their full speed, which they are more likely to reach when running in a longer cycle (like re-cooling your house after work).

Save Money With AC Services From Energy Air

Are you tired of being sticker shocked by your electricity bill? Give Energy Air a call today or easily schedule an appointment online for an energy audit, and professional recommendations to lower your power bill.

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Contact Energy Air

Whether you need a single air conditioning unit installed or a complete air conditioning system retrofit, our team of HVAC experts will handle it. Have questions or would like to discuss your project? Give us a call today to talk to one of our friendly team members, or schedule your appointment online.

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