With the rise in energy prices, many people are wondering whether there are energy savings to be made by turning off your A/C on days you aren’t home, or whether consistently running it is more energy efficient. A team of architectural and building systems engineers has conducted studies on what the most efficient method is.
According to their studies, the answer is not as easy to determine as some might have thought. Factors that could alter the answer include, how well insulated your home is, the type of air conditioning you have, the temperature and humidity outside, and the size of your home. The calculations showed that in many cases it might be cheaper to turn on the A/C when you are home and turn it off when you are gone than to consistently keep it on.
This is because throughout the day there is a limit to how much your home will heat. This means that even if you are gone out the entire day, your home will never heat up more than a certain amount. This also reduces the amount of heat you will need to get rid of with your A/C.
The studies also showed that A/Cs tend to be less efficient in extreme heat. Which could potentially lead to more energy efficiency in your home.
The calculations made based on two case studies, Arizona and Georgia both showed a similar result in that the overall energy consumption is significantly reduced when you choose to not consistently run your A/C. This is the same in both homes with good insulation and homes with slightly worse insulation. Over the years, this practice could bring you up to 11% in energy savings. These savings might decrease if the home is better insulated, or if the temperature changes are not as dire. Your A/C efficiency could also lead to changes in this.