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Should You Turn Off Your AC When You’re Not at Home?

Most homeowners assume that the best way to save money on cooling costs is to turn their air conditioner off when they’re not at home. 

But there’s a much better way: Turn your thermostat up instead of turning the AC completely off.

More specifically, we suggest turning the set temperature up 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away for the day.

Turning up the thermostat is the better option because it:

  • Protects your home from mold and bugs
  • Saves you money
  • Keeps you comfortable

Let’s take a closer look at these benefits.

Benefit #1: Turning the thermostat up protects your home from mold/bugs

Turning off your air conditioner can cause your home’s indoor humidity levels to soar. And two gross intruders who love humidity include:

  1. Mold

  2. Bugs 

You see, your air conditioner doesn’t just cool your air, it also dehumidifies it. So when you turn your AC completely off, it won’t take long for the humidity in your home to soar to upwards of 60%, which is ideal for mold growth and bug infestations.

High indoor humidity can cause condensation, leading to mold growth throughout your home. Source

But if you turn the thermostat up 7 to 10 degrees, your AC will kick on every once in awhile to control the indoor humidity and maintain a healthy humidity level between 45%-55%.

Benefit #2: Turning the thermostat up keeps you comfortable

No one loves coming home to a humid, stuffy house. But that’s what you’re setting yourself up for when you turn your AC completely off. 

Instead, turning your air conditioner’s thermostat up 7 to 10 degrees will help manage the indoor humidity and will keep temperatures at a tolerable level.

So you can stay comfortable and save money at the same time. Which leads us to the next benefit...

Benefit #3: Turning your thermostat up saves you money

Turning up the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees for 8 or more hours a day can save you 10% on cooling costs throughout the summer. 

Why? Well, when you raise the thermostat, you decrease the difference between the outside and the inside temperature. And that lowers your AC’s workload, saving you energy.

An example of how you might raise your thermostat to save money:

6 AM: Wake up and get ready for work.

7 AM: Raise the thermostat from 68 to 78 before leaving the house.

6 PM: Lower the temperature back to 68 when you get home.

Not sure you can remember to raise the thermostat every morning? Think about investing in a programmable thermostat, which can change the temperature automatically for you.

Related: 3 Simple Steps to Finding the Perfect Programmable Thermostat

Get more summer cooling tips from CoolToday’s experts

Have more questions on how you can stay cool and save money this summer? 

Just ask the experts at CoolToday. We’re always happy to help!

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