One of the biggest mistakes we see homeowners make during the summer is turning on their air conditioner before they leave for the day and letting it run in an empty house. There’s actually some logical reason for thinking that this is a good idea, and no one wants to come home to a wall of heat, then have to wait while the system cools it off. But there are ways around that problem that don’t involve wasting so much energy, and while it may seem more efficient to turn on the system in the cool of the morning, the opposite is actually true. Cooling an empty house makes no sense, even in a town as hot in the summer as Georgetown, TX. The good news is that making the right adjustment isn’t hard at all.
Why People Think It’s a Good Idea
Again, there are some logical reasons to think that running your air conditioner in an empty house all day is a good idea. ACs use much more energy starting up than they do simply running, so why wouldn’t you just start it in the morning, when temperatures are cooler? Add to that the convenience of coming home to a comfortable home, and the habit can become very hard to break.
Why It Isn’t
In point of fact, however, running the AC for hours on end costs much more than the tiny bit of extra energy consumed by cooling down a hot house when you return home. Furthermore, it isn’t necessary. Almost all thermostats come with basic programming features, allowing you to turn the air on shortly before you arrive home, and have the house cool and comfortable without spending all that energy. The only possible exception is if you have pets at home on a hot day, but even then, setting the thermostat to 80 degrees, or even 85 will keep them comfortable without costing you too much in monthly bills.