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Should I Run My Heater or AC All Day, Even When I’m Not Home?

There are numerous misunderstandings and myths circulating about HVAC equipment and how to properly heat or cool a home—and the Internet has only made these misconceptions spread faster. For example, pushing up the thermostat to its highest setting won’t heat up a home faster, it only keeps the heater running longer.

We’re going to deal with another of these misunderstandings in this post, which is the often-repeated idea that it’s less expensive to keep a heating or air conditioning system running all day, even when nobody is home, rather than to turn it on and off.

Here’s the Truth…

The reason this misunderstanding has gained a foothold is that there’s a tiny grain of truth buried deep down in it. An air conditioner or heater does consume the most energy during its start-up cycle. This is why the condition known as short-cycling is such a problem: the system turns on and off rapidly, draining immense amounts of power and wearing components down rapidly.

However, managing the AC and heater only to come on when needed and then shut off when nobody is home consumes much less power than leaving either one on all day. The amount of waste that a comfort system creates when it runs while nobody is home is tremendous. Turning either system on or off a few times a day is a minor energy expenditure in comparison.

If you want to come home to a cooled or heated home, with the temperature adjusted to just how you like it, you should have a programmable or “smart” thermostat installed. This way you can either program the thermostat to turn on the comfort system a half hour before you come home, or you can remotely activate it using your smart phone or a computer connection. Smart thermostats will see that your AC/heater runs at the most energy-efficient behavior possible.

Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration can help you enjoy the best comfort in Benton, LA. Just call the Doctor of Home Comfort!

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