As we enter the fall season and temperatures throughout Central Indiana start to cool down, homeowners often wonder when to turn off their air conditioners for the year. Edwards Royal Comfort offers some advice on when is the right time to put your air conditioner to bed for the year. Don’t fret – we also explain how to use your HVAC system in these interim times to keep indoor air quality at its best and your energy bills low!
When to Turn Off the AC for the Year
If you’ve lived in Central Indiana for very long, you know that fall can be a wild time, temperature wise. It may be hot enough for air conditioning early in the week, and time to turn on your heating system by the weekend! Luckily, we don’t experience these severe temperature swings all the time, and, most years, homeowners can put their air conditioners to bed for the season once temperatures cool off for good.
How do you know when to turn off your AC for the year? Oftentimes in the early fall, it can be hot enough to run the AC unit during the day, but at night, it may be cool enough to open the windows to allow cool, fresh air to come in. During these times, you don’t need to turn your central air conditioner off completely – just adjust your thermostat settings so the temperature setpoint is high enough at night so the air conditioner will not come on when it’s cooler outside.
Once outdoor temperatures remain steadily cool throughout the day and night, this is a good time to turn off AC for the year. In Central Indiana, we typically reach this point in early to mid-October, as outdoor temperatures often still vary from daytime to nighttime throughout the month of September.
Running Your HVAC System for Better Air Quality
Many Central Indiana homes depend on high-efficiency furnace filters and air cleaners or purifiers that work with the HVAC system to remove airborne contaminants which keeps indoor air clean. Although periods with mild outdoor temperatures are a good time to turn off the AC to save energy, what do you do about indoor air quality in the meantime?
When the air conditioner is in use during the summer, you’ll want to leave the fan set to ‘AUTO’ on your thermostat – this setting allows the fan to run only when the air conditioner does. As air circulates for cooling, it also passes through the filter and any indoor air quality (IAQ) equipment you have installed to remove particles and contamination from the air. Running the fan without the air conditioner during the hot season can increase humidity levels in your home and contribute to discomfort.
During the fall season, though, you can take advantage of periodic use of your HVAC system fan to keep air circulating through the home. Your thermostat controls the system’s fan settings – to operate the fan without the use of the air conditioner or heating equipment, simply change the fan setting to ‘ON’. The ‘ON’ setting will allow the system’s fan to circulate air throughout the HVAC system and home without using excess energy to heat or cool it. This way, your home’s indoor air quality still benefits from the filtration provided by your HVAC system and IAQ equipment, but you don’t waste energy unnecessarily heating or cooling air when it’s not needed.
When running the system’s fan without heating or cooling, just be sure to turn it off and on as needed. Run the fan for 15 to 20 minutes a few times a day to gain the filtration you need. Don’t leave the fan set to ‘ON’ indefinitely, as this will increase your energy bills. It will also cause your air filter to clog up faster, requiring replacement more often.
Contact Edwards for HVAC Services in Central Indiana
The heating and cooling pros of Edwards Royal Comfort are here to help you keep comfortable at home throughout the year. Whether you need air conditioning or heating system services, give us a call, and we’ll send a skilled technician to your home to correct equipment issues so you have reliable, energy-efficient heating and cooling no matter the season!