Air Quality

Should You Turn Off Air Conditioner When You’re Not at Home?

Turn Off Air Conditioner When You're Not at Home?


Finding innovative ways to save money, especially on home utilities, can be challenging. One common dilemma is whether to turn off air conditioner  when you’re not at home. To shed light on this issue, we conducted thorough research and gathered insights on optimizing energy usage while maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.

Optimal Air Conditioner Usage:

Determining the ideal strategy for air conditioner usage depends on the duration of your absence. For shorter trips, it is advisable to leave the air conditioner running rather than turning it off entirely, ensuring a consistently pleasant indoor temperature. However, if you plan to be away for more than three days and the weather forecast predicts moderate temperatures, turning off the air conditioner and opening windows can be an energy-efficient alternative.

Setting the Thermostat:

HVAC professionals recommend setting the thermostat at or near 78 degrees for cost-effective cooling. Maintaining this temperature helps the air conditioner work efficiently in removing moisture and heat. Utilizing a smart thermostat is also recommended to regulate the temperature when the house is empty, contributing to energy conservation.

Temperature Adjustment for a Vacant House in Summer:

To save energy and protect the interior from insects and mold, consider raising the thermostat by 5-10 degrees when the house is unoccupied. This practice strikes a balance between energy efficiency and maintaining a comfortable environment. However, in less humid or hot climates, leaving the air conditioner off during the day may be feasible.

Automatic Mode for Energy Savings:

For day-to-day use, keeping the air conditioner in “automatic” mode is an effective way to save energy. This allows the system to rest between cooling cycles, activating only when the pre-set temperature is exceeded. This approach proves beneficial during hot weather and is particularly advantageous when you’re not at home.

Avoiding Harm to the System:

Concerns about potential harm to the air conditioning system by turning it off are addressed by experts. While extended continuous operation can lead to wear and tear, occasional use during the evening is generally safe. Abrupt starts and stops, associated with frequent on-off cycles, may pose a risk to the system. Therefore, maintaining a steady running pattern in the evening is recommended to prevent short cycling that could harm the device.

Reasons to Keep the Air Conditioner On:

Despite the cost savings and system-friendly practices of turning off the air conditioner, practical considerations may influence the decision. For those working a typical 9-to-5 job, leaving the air conditioner off during the day may result in a delayed cooling process when you return home. Additionally, turning off the air conditioner for extended periods may lead to increased humidity, potentially causing mold, warping of materials, and harm to electronic devices.


Ultimately, the decision to leave the air conditioner on or off depends on individual preferences, daily routines, and weather conditions. Striking a balance between energy efficiency and maintaining a comfortable indoor environment is crucial. Whether opting to leave the air conditioner on during short absences or turning it off for extended periods, being mindful of energy consumption and considering the unique needs of your living space is key to achieving both savings and comfort.

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About the author


I am Ben , a seasoned HVAC specialist with over 6 of experience in the HVAC industry. I holds HVAC Certification and has a proven track record in providing expert advice on HVAC systems.

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