DIY Tips From the Warner Service Blog

The Classic Debate: Air Conditioning vs. Open Windows

Posted by Warner Service on Jul 24, 2015 10:38:12 AM

air-conditioning-open-windowsAccording to Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, driving in your car with the windows down will keep your vehicle more fuel-savvy during the summer heat than turning on the air conditioning. What about applying this logic to your home? Is it more energy efficient to leave your air conditioning unit on a steady setting or to open your windows just a crack on a breezy day? Warner Service is here to debate which idea is better for your wallet:

If you are in favor of opening your windows: Turning off your air conditioner as often as you can will save more energy in the long run, especially if you live in a climate that experiences “cooler” summer temperatures, so feel free to crack your windows. If you are worried about letting the heat from outside into your home, many homeowners found it smart to open your windows with strategy, and/or to place fans on high shelves around larger rooms.

There are also many health benefits to opening your windows. It can increase oxygen levels, which can decrease and prevent cancer growth. People should also be wary of indoor air pollution, which comes from chemical off-gassing spores from paint, carpet, new furniture and cleaning products. This can cause allergy-like reactions, such as coughing, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes and troubled breathing, so you may opt for some air exchange flow.

If you are in favor of turning on your air conditioner: Contrary to popular belief, your air conditioning unit does not expend more energy by re-cooling your house throughout the day than it does to maintain an allover cool home in the first place.

If you live in a hot and humid climate, it is best to turn on the air conditioning in the beginning of the summer and leave it on in your tightly sealed home until the first signs of fall. It is better than cracking your windows because cracking your windows may let in too much moisture and humidity from the stifling outside temperatures, which will create an uncomfortable atmosphere for your family.

A lot of people still think they will save money if they only open their windows at night, but even if you choose this form of nighttime ventilation, it can still increase the amount of moisture previously removed by about 5 gallons per day. You may think that bit of moisture is fine as long as you are saving money on energy costs, which will drop about 30 percent if you turn off the unit, but that added moisture from open windows will cause the unit’s power to actually increase by about 21 percent during the rest of the next day. This results in more money spent in the long run.

The consensus: It all depends on where your house is located, how well insulated your home is and what your budget looks like. If you live in a cooler climate, feel free to strategically open your windows at any time. If you live in a warmer climate, consider leaving the air conditioning unit on and your doors and windows tightly sealed throughout the summer. However, you should always keep the windows closed and blinds drawn when the outside temperature is hotter than the inside temperature. Everything is up to your discretion as a homeowner.

If you need help installing windows, fixing your air conditioning unit or have any questions,contact Warner Service today.

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Topics: Indoor Air, Air Conditioning, HVAC