VERIFY: Do you really save money by turning off A/C?

The KHOU 11 Verify factcheckers are looking into whether turning off your central air conditioning unit can really save you money or is it best to just turn the thermostat up a few degrees.

As we approach the notoriously hot Houston summer, do you really save any money by turning off your central air conditioning when you leave the house? Or, does it end up costing more to fire it back up and cool things down when you get home?

And, does shutting it down create more wear and tear on your system?

KHOU 11 fact-checkers have been working on for answers to those questions.

We can verify that no, you should never turn your central A/C off in the summer and it has nothing to do with money.

If you shut it down, moisture can build up and be harmful. Instead, you should follow the "four by four principal": 

If you're going to be away from home for more than four hours, set your thermostat four degrees higher. To reduce electricity usage and thus, the cost of your bill.

And, keep in mind, 78 degrees is optimum for your budget. Every degree cooler could increase your cost by up to 7 percent during the summer months.

Our source on all this: Bobby Zafarnia with Reliant Energy. He also recommends leaving your A/C fan setting in the auto position rather than the on position which can raise your bill as well.  

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© 2017 KHOU-TV


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