UtilitiesBudget & Finance

Does Running the Air Conditioner Continuously Save Money?

Does it really save you money if you keep your air conditioner set a specific temperature and never turn it off in the summer? I know the electric companies claim this works, but I wonder is it true? I always turn my air conditioner off when I leave for work around 7am every morning because no one is at home until 5pm, then I turn it back on. It seems like if it's not on no power is being used and the bill should be less. What do you think?

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By Onesummer

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April 12, 20110 found this helpful

Depends on many factors, the temperature, humidity and your a/c unit. If you can't set the temperature on your unit (some window units are like this) it is either on or off. I'd shut it off while I was gone. If you have central air you can set it to 80 degrees during the day while no one is home, this way the house doesn't get boiling hot and it cools off quickly when you set it lower. Which uses less electricity? I don't really know.

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April 13, 20110 found this helpful

I am not sure about the cost of letting it run all the time, but what concerns me is a possible fire from the unit overheating or shorting out, power outage, and then catching on fire. I know about the safety in getting out of the house right away, but you could at least maybe shut the power off to the house then if the breaker box is outside.

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You might have to check each bill for power you get and try and check it that way month to month. Hope this helps some!

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April 13, 20110 found this helpful

Off when not home. It makes sense.

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April 13, 20110 found this helpful

Just take some time to experiment, like a month at a time. You'll soon have a record of what it costs you. No need to ask someone else with entirely different circumstances.

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April 25, 20110 found this helpful

I did this with my electric hot water tank. I turned it off when I left for work every day then turned it on as soon as I came home. I figured I didn't use hot water when I was at work and it would have time to warm up for shower and dishes that evening, which it did. Then I got the $300 electric bill. (I live alone, total electric home and I live very "thin".) Needless to say, I don't do that any more.

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Best of luck to you, whatever your choice may be.

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