Is it bad to run the AC with windows open around the house? It is a common strategy that people use to rapidly cool their homes, but does it work? It seems logical that combining air conditioning with fresh air through the windows will circulate cool air more effectively and hasten the cooling process.
Below, the team at Felix Appliance Heating & Air explores how this common practice affects your air conditioning. Queen Creek’s AC repair experts also discuss a few ideas about how to cool your home without compromising its energy efficiency.
Can You Run the Air Conditioning With the Windows Open?
No, experts typically agree that you shouldn’t leave the windows open while the air conditioner is running. Open windows may even have the opposite effect, making it take longer to cool down your home. During hot weather, outdoor temperatures often exceed indoor temperatures, which means that hotter air will be flowing in through the windows.
Besides raising the temperature indoors, the following reasons should make you think twice about running the air conditioning when the windows or doors are open.
If Your HVAC Works Harder, Costs Rise
The air conditioner works hard to stabilize temperatures around your house. If you leave your windows open, any cool air the unit manages to produce will escape instead of circulating around the house. If the air conditioner has to work harder for longer, the following problems arise:
- It puts strain on the mechanical and electrical components.
- It decreases the time needed between air filter changes.
- It takes longer to cool the home, which increases your energy bills.
- It increases the chances of a breakdown as components wear down faster.
So, keeping the windows and doors closed while the air conditioner is on could save you thousands on repairs, maintenance, replacements, and energy usage in the long run.
Poor Air Quality Affects Your Family’s Health
Is it bad to run the AC with windows open when it comes to indoor air quality? Yes, opening the windows invites dust, pollen, dirt, and other problematic particles that a heat recovery ventilator can’t address. These pollutants increase the chance of triggering allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions and clog your air filters faster.
Bad Weather Could Expose Your Air Conditioning Unit
Opening your windows while the air conditioner is on also exposes the unit to storms, rain, dust, and excess humidity. For example, Arizona often experiences dust storms. If these dust clouds infiltrate the home, they create thick layers of dust and lead to very dirty filters. Dirty condenser and evaporator coils also negatively affect future HVAC performance.
Alternatives to Opening Your Windows For Cool Temperatures Indoors
If you want to cool your house faster, try these alternative methods:
Leverage the Curtains
One of the easiest ways to cool your home’s interior is by closing the curtains or blinds. Rooms that receive direct sunlight can be several degrees hotter. For particularly warm rooms, try blackout curtains that can block almost 100% of the light.
Tint Your Windows
Tinting windows reduces their transparency and more effectively keeps out direct sunlight.
- Add thin laminate film to your windows to block more wavelengths of light.
- Buy window tint products that block UV light (these rays carry much of the sun’s heat).
Install New Insulation
Does your house have trouble maintaining comfortable temperatures? Consider insulation. Modern insulation products have higher R-values, meaning they are better at preventing heat transfer.
Many Arizona homeowners will need to replace their home’s insulation at least once every 15 to 20 years. However, the energy savings from switching to new materials could make early replacement worth it.
Adjusting Your Thermostat
Is your thermostat at its most efficient setting? The more efficiently your HVAC runs, the faster it will cool your home.
During the summer, the most efficient setting is around 78 degrees F. Keeping temperatures in that region should take the strain off your unit and make it cool more efficiently for a more comfortable home.
Call For AC Repair and Maintenance in Maricopa, AZ!
Felix Appliance Heating & Air has years of experience in air conditioning installation, repair, and maintenance. If you want reliable HVAC services that address any heating and cooling problem you have, give us a call. You can also ask about our Felix Family Protection Plan to get the most out of our services in Maricopa, AZ.