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Old 07-22-2009, 07:17 PM   #1
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central air vs window units


My daughter just moved into an apartment with 2 other girls. These girls only have window units in their parents house. When the 2 girls leave the apartment for the day they shut off the central air and when they return (hours later) they turn it back on and it runs for several hours. We have central air at our house and my daughter has tried to explain to them that with central air you leave it on all the time and it only comes on when it goes above the set temp. They think it cost more to leave it on auto then to let it run for hours. They have had several fights over this and I can't find anything that says which way is better. Could you please advise me on this?
Thanks

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Old 07-22-2009, 07:27 PM   #2
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central air vs window units


It depends upon how long they are gone, if gone for the day turn the AC up higher
I turn the heat down & the AC off when I am not home
There is no sense in heating/cooling an Apt/house when no-one is home
We have a programmable thermostat that turns the heat down 15-30 minutes before we leave for work
The Temp goes back up about 15 minutes before we get home

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Old 07-22-2009, 07:38 PM   #3
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Regardless if you leave the AC on or off, the house is still absorbing the same amount of heat throughout the day, so it's essentially no more efficient to cool little by little all day long than to just cool that same amount of absorbed thermal energy in one big cooling cycle...

ignoring the really scientific boring details that is...

Last edited by johnnyboy; 07-22-2009 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy View Post
Regardless if you leave the AC on or off, the house is still absorbing the same amount of heat throughout the day, so it's essentially no more efficient to cool little by little all day long than to just cool that same amount of absorbed thermal energy in one big cooling cycle...

ignoring the really scientific boring details that is...
Actually that's not true
The greater the delta difference in temp between the inside & the outside the more loss/gain. So turning the heat down & the AC up while not at home does save on energy costs
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:14 PM   #5
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central air vs window units


IF the girls are gone for a work day or school day cycle it sounds as if a good programmable thermostat is in order. Maybe you could get them to sit down long enough to explain how these work and how a programmable thermostat could solve (hopefully) their problem by allowing the temp to be automatically set up while they are gone and automatically turn the A/C unit on just before any of them get home. AND, I will use the word Hopefully, again. Best of luck to you, and the girls, sharonjo. Thanks, David
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:18 PM   #6
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Where are you located?
A hot humid area?
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharonjo View Post
When the 2 girls leave the apartment for the day they shut off the central air and when they return (hours later) they turn it back on and it runs for several hours. 1

you leave it on all the time and it only comes on when it goes above the set temp. 2

They think it cost more to leave it on auto then to let it run for hours. 3
1 Because the temp. is way above the setpoint
2 on and off the whole day when no one is home
3 Been There [a forum member and HVAC person who is temporarily swamped with work] had a method for this.
I think it was to set the 'stat one degree higher than usual for each two hours you'll be away, but you could PM him to make sure.

Those kiddies will be trading off temporary discomfort when they get home for energy savings when there is no one there.

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Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-22-2009 at 09:42 PM.
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