Turning Your A/C Unit Off or Up: Which is Better?

As temperatures continue to rise, it can seem wasteful to keep your A/C unit running all day, even if you work from home. You may wonder whether turning your A/C unit off would help conserve energy. Below we discuss how turning your A/C unit off during the day can impact your energy consumption and what else you can do to reduce your summer energy bills.

Does Turning Off Your A/C Save Money?

It’s undisputed that turning off your A/C unit while you’re out of the house will help you use less energy during the day. However, if it’s a hot enough day, this could mean returning to a sweltering house with temperatures in the 80s or 90s. When this happens, it can take hours for your A/C unit to be able to get your house back to a comfortable temperature. By then, it may be time to go to bed, only to start the cycle again the next day.

What’s more, keeping your A/C unit off during the day can prevent your other appliances from working as efficiently as possible. For example, your refrigerator and freezer have to work much harder to keep their contents at the right temperature when the ambient air is approaching triple digits. Additionally, keeping your A/C unit on during the day can also be the best way to vent humidity, preventing mold and mildew growth and damage to your electronics.

How to Save Money Without Turning Your A/C Unit Off

So how can you reduce your heating bills without turning your home into a sauna? The Public Utility Commission of Texas recommends setting your thermostat to 78-80 degrees. Setting your A/C unit to this temperature range, rather than turning your system off completely, will prevent your home from getting too hot during the day while still reducing your overall energy consumption.

One simple way to accomplish this is to invest in a programmable or smart thermostat. This will allow you to seamlessly adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere with an internet connection. Many smart thermostats will automatically learn your schedule and adjust to fit it, while others require you to actively set a specific temperature. Regardless of which type of smart thermostat you choose, you’ll be able to turn down the temperature before you’re scheduled to arrive home.

Another way to reduce your summer cooling costs is to install a ceiling fan. This can be especially helpful for those who work remotely and may not want to increase the thermostat setting during the day. In fact, if you have a ceiling fan running, you can increase your thermostat temperature by as much as four degrees without noticing any difference.


At North East Air Conditioning and Plumbing, our technicians are committed to ensuring your A/C unit is as efficient as possible. We’ll answer your A/C unit questions and can help you with maintenance issues, repair, and even installation. Don’t delay—call us today to set up an appointment, or visit our website to learn more about the services we offer.

Photo by Moja Msanii on Unsplash


Call: 210-658-0111