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Is It Better To Turn Off The AC When You Aren’t Home?

Published July 22, 2022

By Quality Contracting Electrical & HVAC

Is It Better To Turn Off The AC When You Aren’t Home?

It feels like someone cranked the heat all the way up in Virginia Beach this summer, which has caused us to turn our air conditioners way down. Heating and cooling is about 48% of the average American household’s energy consumption according to the Energy Information Administration. A common thought to lower energy consumption and monthly cooling costs is to turn off your air conditioner when it’s not needed. In this blog, we will explain and answer if turning off your AC is a good practice and what to consider before doing so.

So – is it better to turn off the AC system when no one is home? The answer to this question is a preference, because it comes with a few factors.

Things To Consider

Turning off your air conditioner during the day can save you money and energy because your unit is not running all day long. However, summer days in Virginia beach have been over 80 degrees. If your home exceeds 80 degrees, it could cause potential problems for things inside your home. Below we have listed factors to consider before turning off your AC unit during the day.


Your air conditioning unit removes humidity while cooling your home. If your air conditioner is off, humidity levels will rise in your home. This can increase mold growth and warp wood.


Certain electronics should not reach a high internal temperature. High heat can cause damage to delicate devices, so be sure to research if your home TV’s, computers, and other devices can be exposed to high temperatures.

Indoor Animals & Plants

If you have any indoor animals, high temperatures can be dangerous for their health. Similar to animals, certain plants should not be exposed to the heat and could put their health at risk.

Sacrificing Initial Comfort

Your home will heat up throughout the day if your air conditioner is turned off. When you come home from work, the indoor temperature to your home will be similar to the outdoor temperature – HOT! It will take a few hours to turn your home from 80+ degrees to your desired temperature of 68 degrees or so. While you will save money by having it off, you will sacrifice your comfort for a couple hours while your system works to cool your home.

Turn the AC Up, Not Off

To avoid potential damage to your home and other indoor things, it is best to not turn your air conditioner off during the day. To save money, we recommend turning your thermostat up a few degrees. Depending on things like indoor pets and plants, turn your thermostat up as high at 78-80 degrees. This will result in energy savings, while not sacrificing the health of your home.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are designed to adjust temperature settings throughout the day based on previously programmed settings. These energy saving settings have shown to save about $180 a year on heating and cooling costs. Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to adjust their thermostat from a mobile device. If you were to turn your thermostat on during the day, you can adjust it with enough time for it to be comfortable when you return home.

We want you to remain cool and comfortable this summer, while saving as much money on cooling costs as possible. By adjusting your thermostat setting during the day and investing in a programmable thermostat, you will likely see a difference in your monthly bills! Give us a call with any questions or air conditioning services this summer in Virginia beach!

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