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Should you turn up the AC when you leave home?


If you have recently installed an air conditioning system in your home or have moved into a home and are unfamiliar with how the previous owner's heating, ventilation and air conditioning or HVAC system works, you may not be using the equipment properly.

For example, many people find themselves turning up the air conditioning when they leave home to go to work, school or a series of errands. People typically crank up the AC like this because they have been disappointed when they came home after a long day only to find that the house is too hot to enjoy. When it takes too long to bring the home to a more comfortable temperature if they wait until they arrive to turn on the air conditioning, they may reason that the only way to deal with the situation is to leave the AC on all day long, even if no one is at home.

Problems of Running Your AC Too Much

A well designed heating, ventilation and air conditioning system should have the capacity to make your home comfortable with normal use. The system should have been sized to make sure it adequately meets your home's HVAC needs.

Too powerful a system does not mean it will simply make your home cooler faster. Instead, it may actually not work as efficiently as a properly sized setup. Ductwork should be free of leaks and it needs to be kept clean on a regular basis.

When you run the air conditioning too much (such as all day, every day, even when no one is at home to enjoy the cool air), you run the risk of putting too much stress on the system. This can lead to a reduction in efficiency and can damage the components.

What's more, running your AC when it's not needed will make your electric utility bill skyrocket. Add to this the fact that you are increasing your carbon footprint when wasting energy like this, and it becomes clear that you should have your HVAC system inspected, maintained and cleaned every year. A qualified professional will verify if the system is running as efficiently as possible.

Programmable Thermostats Give You a Measure of Control

Your air conditioner undoubtedly has at least a rudimentary thermostat to control the equipment. If it only has "On" and "Off" buttons, though, you will want to swap it out for a programmable thermostat as soon as possible.

Program the thermostat to make your air conditioning start up shortly before your plan to arrive home. This way, it will be nice and cool when you get home, but you won't have wasted so much energy and money.

Smart Thermostats Enable Access Via the Internet and Mobile Devices

For more effective use of your system, consider using a smart thermostat, which our technicians will be happy to advise you about and then install. A smart thermostat lets you program it according to when you need the AC or heat to run (such as a different schedule during the weekend and weekdays).

Since it connects wirelessly to the Internet, you can access your thermostat online, such as with your work computer or your mobile device. This means that you can quickly adjust the settings while on the go, such as if you need to make the house get cooler a bit earlier than usual.

David Gray Heating & Air's knowledgeable professionals think that it's a shame that homeowners wind up wasting energy simply because they run the air conditioning system more than is warranted. If you have been having difficulties keeping your home cool, it might mean that it's time to have HVAC experts come and inspect the equipment, provide maintenance and otherwise troubleshoot the problem. For details or to arrange for an appointment, please call David Gray Heating & Air today.