Learn About Our Special Offers
Call for Emergency Service (703) 337-4892


Should You Bother Turning Off Your AC When You Leave the House?

post img

As we sweat through a hot July here in Lorton, with temperatures consistently hitting the 90s and possibly setting new heat records, many of us are looking for ways to cut down on those sky-high energy bills …

One question we often hear is whether it’s worth turning off the AC completely when leaving the house. Let’s dive into this topic and see if powering down your cooling system is a smart move or if it might end up costing you more in the long run.

For quick errands or your daily work commute, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might expect. Here’s what you need to know:

The energy-saving reality

While your AC doesn’t work harder to cool your home after being off (it runs at the same speed regardless of the temperature), it does run longer to reach your desired temp. Turning off your AC for part of the day does result in some energy savings since your system runs less overall.

The humidity factor

Remember, your AC does more than just cool – it also dehumidifies. Turning it off completely could lead to excess humidity, potentially causing mold or damaging your belongings.

The comfort trade-off

Let’s be real – coming home to a sweltering house isn’t fun, especially during this historic heatwave. It could take hours to cool down, leaving you uncomfortable in your own home.

For most Lorton residents, the best approach is to turn the thermostat up instead of completely off when you leave. Set it somewhere between 78 and 85 degrees while you’re out. This way, your AC runs less (saving you money) but still kicks on occasionally to keep things under control.

Pro tip: Raising your thermostat by 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day can cut your cooling costs by about 10%!

Vacations – don’t shut it down completely

When heading out for a longer trip, it’s tempting to shut everything down to save big on your energy bills. However, that’s not always the best idea. Here’s why:

Your refrigerator and freezer have to work much harder in a hot house, potentially leading to breakdowns or spoiled food. High temperatures can also damage sensitive electronics by melting internal components.

For extended absences, set your thermostat between 85-90 degrees. This keeps things in check without cooling an empty house.

Final thoughts

While shutting off your AC completely when you leave might save a few bucks in the short term, it’s usually not worth the potential downsides – especially during this exceptionally hot July. Instead, opt for raising the temperature when you’re away for the day, and keep it running (but higher) when you’re on vacation. By finding the right balance, you can save on energy costs without compromising your home’s comfort and safety.

If you have any questions about optimizing your AC usage or need help preparing your system for the intense heat, don’t hesitate to reach out to here at HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited in Lorton, VA. Stay cool out there! Contact us online or give us a call today (703) 337-4892.

What Our Customers are Saying

I had my inspection done by Steven Worthy yesterday and I definitely wanted to make sure you thank him for putting...

M. Scozia

Steve just finished the service and did an OUTSTANDING job! Keep up the great work and thank you.

K. Lippold

Thank you! Great service. Your employee is first rate. Josue is a nice young man.

B. Henry

Great Job changing sump pump by Chase Scott. He also gave me advice and knowledge for keeping and maintaining prop...

Azin Razavieh

Chase was super helpful in replacing my garbage disposal and fixing my toilet. He was super friendly and completed...

Erik M.

Chase Scott provided great service. Very friendly. He found the problem quickly. He showed me what the issue was a...

Jodie B.
more reviews
Why Choose HVAC
& Plumbing Unlimited

Dedicated to friendly & reliable service

We’re dedicated to your comfort

No-nonsense pricing for all services

Factory-trained and certified technicians

100% satisfaction guarantee

about us
Need Help With Financing? Learn More