Air conditioners are best known for their ability to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures during the hottest months of the year. However, modern cooling equipment also regulates indoor humidity and filters the indoor air. These are important things to keep in mind if you’re looking for ways to cut the energy bills for your Peoria, Illinois home. Following are several reasons why opening windows at night isn’t always the best choice.
You Can’t Crack Windows With the Air Conditioner On
In order for open windows to be a cost-effective choice for nighttime cooling, the air conditioner must be turned completely off. This means that everyone in the home has to be on board with this decision. Continuing to run the AC system while you sleep with the windows cracked will result in energy loss, higher than normal home cooling costs, and excess wear on your cooling equipment. If the outdoor air happens to be much warmer than the thermostat setting, it can also lead to problems with overheating and other more serious forms of system malfunction.
Combating the Effects of Open Windows Could Prove More Costly
Turning your air conditioner off and opening up the windows while you sleep will leave you without the benefits of air filtration and humidity regulation. In some instances, airing the house out at night is a good idea. This may be the case if you’ve used a number of household cleaning agents or other chemicals or if you have other environmental factors that negatively impact your indoor air quality (IAQ). However, the quality of the outdoor air can actually be lower than the quality of the air inside. This is certainly true if you live:
- Near a busy street or freeway
- By an active construction site
- Near an airport
- On a lot that has yet to be properly landscaped
- In an area with lots of factories or other manufacturing facilities
When it comes to high levels of outside humidity, cracking your windows might make your indoor temperature lower, but it won’t increase your comfort. Moist, humid air feels much warmer than air with a lower moisture index. If you crack your windows at night all summer long, additional humidity in your home could increase your risk of mold and mildew development, and it may cause widespread property damage. Even when open windows provide noticeable short-term savings, you still have to account for the potential costs of mold treatment, property repairs, and secondary strategies for maintaining an acceptable IAQ.
Noise Pollution Will Likely Increase
Falling asleep to the low, gentle hum of a well-maintained air conditioner is one thing. Falling asleep and attempting to stay that way while cars speed past or conversations are held just outside your window is another thing entirely. If you have lots of noise pollution in your neighborhood, cracking your windows for cool air isn’t a sustainable strategy. You’ll sleep better and more consistently by simply running your air conditioner instead.
It Often Costs More to Cool Homes Down Again in the Morning
Consider how quickly temperatures rise in the morning and early afternoon before using your windows as part of your nighttime cooling plan. Contrary to what most consumers believe, it’s actually much cheaper to run the air conditioner all of the time in most instances. Opening windows at night and closing them in the morning could force your system to work much harder when turned back on. If you keep your home sealed during the summer and maintain a moderate thermostat setting all throughout the season, you’ll likely spend far less overall. This is all the more true if your cooling equipment is relatively new, well-maintained, and properly sized for your home.
Diligent AC Maintenance Is Usually the Most Cost-effective Choice
The best money-saving strategy for home cooling during the summer is to take good care of the cooling equipment that you have. If your air conditioner is professionally serviced just before the start of the hot season, it will use less energy all summer long. Moreover, your home will also maintain a higher IAQ and balanced humidity.
Residents of central Illinois and the surrounding area can count on Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for fast, effective, and affordable HVAC maintenance service. We also provide heating and indoor air quality services, ductwork installation, and geothermal systems. Call us today to schedule your annual AC maintenance.