Does sleeping With the Windows Open Save Energy?
Can I Save Energy by Sleeping With the Windows Open?
As the summer months fade into fall in O’Fallon, Missouri, the temperatures drop, and the wind picks up. In the evening and at night, it can be downright cool outside.
The summer in Missouri is hot, so your air conditioner is running every day. It is expensive, so you might be looking for a way to reduce your energy expenditure now that the temperatures are getting cooler. Some people have considered the option to run the air conditioner during the day when the weather is the hottest outside and then open the windows at night to cool the home.
There are definite health benefits to opening your windows and letting fresh air in your home from time to time. If you are strategic about when you open your windows during the summer and early fall, you might be able to save some money on your utility bills.
However, there is no 100% guarantee that opening your windows at night instead of using your AC will lower your energy bills. There are several scenarios in which letting the outside air into your home in the evening will increase your energy bill.
Is It Beneficial to Open My Windows at Night and Only Use the AC during the Day?
At first glance, it makes sense that you would only want to use your air conditioner during the peak hot times of the day. When the temperature outside cools down, you would turn off your air conditioner and let the breeze flow through your home.
However, the reality is that you could be wasting electricity by doing this. In O’Fallon, nighttime temperatures can still range well above 70 degrees Fahrenheit during late summer and early fall. Most people have their air conditioning running at around 65 degrees.
Even though it is cooler outside at night than during the day, in most cases, it is warmer outside than the conditioned temperature in your home. As soon as you open your windows, your home’s cool air will be sucked out and immediately replaced with warmer air. This happens even if the temperature outside is only a couple of degrees warmer than the temperature in your home.
When you start your air conditioning unit again the next day, it will have to work harder to bring your home back down to a comfortable temperature for you.
Humidity and Air Conditioning Costs
Another factor to consider is humidity’s role in your home’s temperature. Living in O’Fallon, Missouri, we all know what it feels like to be outdoors on a humid day. Humidity can make a hot day feel even hotter.
It should not come as a shock that humidity affects how well your AC unit functions. If the moisture in your home is too high, achieving indoor comfort is a challenge. That is why many of the HVAC systems we offer at Hoff Heating & AC include dehumidifiers to keep humidity levels in check.
Your air conditioning unit cools your home by removing heat and moisture. As long as there is excessive humidity in your home, it will never feel comfortable.
Humidity negatively impacts air conditioning because it cancels out the cooling effect. If your home is humid, it will feel warmer than its actual temperature. You will need to keep your air conditioning system running longer and won’t get the same benefits. In other words, the more humid the air, the more money it costs to cool your home effectively.
When you open your windows at night, you let all of the conditioned and dehumidified air in your home out of the windows. It is being replaced with humid air. The humid air will penetrate your furnishings and carpet. Everything is going to feel sticky. The following day when you activate your air conditioning unit, it will have to work that much harder to make your home feel cool.
A study showed that you might increase the amount of humidity your AC unit removes by up to five gallons a day by opening your windows at night. Other studies find that opening your windows at night could drop your AC-related energy use by 30%. However, your AC unit will use 21% more energy during the day to remove the humidity let in at night by opening the windows.
Is It Ever Worth It to Open the Windows at Night?
Absolutely. This is especially true during the late fall. Temperatures can drop well below 70 degrees in late September or early October. At this point, as long as humidity levels are low, you will see the benefits of opening a window and turning off your AC.
You want to take advantage of the cool outdoor air coming into your home. In the morning, trap that cool air by closing the windows before the sun gets too high. This will make it easier for your air conditioning unit to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
You may derive health benefits from sleeping with your windows open from time to time. If you keep your windows closed for too long, toxins build up in your home. These include viruses, mold spores, dust, and bacteria. If you are cycling the same air through your home, you increase your risk of getting sick.
Breathing air that is not clean can make you feel tired and dizzy. It can give you headaches and lead to respiratory irritation. There are some definite benefits to shutting off the AC and cracking your windows during the late fall.
Can I Open My Windows and Run My Air Conditioner Simultaneously?
Some people feel that if they open their windows and run their air conditioner, their home will feel cooler and their AC will use less energy. The theory is that the air conditioner will cool the room and the open windows will allow fresh air in. However, this doesn’t work.
When Hoff Heating & AC’s technicians install your air conditioning unit for you, we do so based on the size of your home and the load that your AC unit will have to bear. When you leave windows open, the conditioned air in your home escapes. This causes your air conditioner to constantly work hard to cool the air that goes out of the windows. The extra stress this puts on your air conditioner may cause it to break down prematurely.
Making O’Fallon Families Comfortable Is Our Family’s Business
Hoff Heating & AC offers a complete solution for our customers across O’Fallon and neighboring communities. We have a staff of NATE-certified technicians who are on call 24 hours a day. Our team is efficient and reliable and has over three decades of experience. We can answer all of your questions about your home energy and efficiency, including inquiries about your air conditioner.
When you work with us, you know that you have made a good choice. Our services include geothermal solutions, installation, maintenance, repair of HVAC systems, energy analysis, and ductwork fabrication. We are a family-owned and -operated business. Contact us today, and see how our quality of work can benefit you.