Ask the Expert: Saving Money on Air Conditioning
Hi Rolando, that’s a great question that we get asked by many customers. First of all, it’s important to understand that the on/auto fan switch on your A/C thermostat will affect the price you pay to cool your home. That’s because the A/C fan circulates the cool or warm air throughout your home. Switching the fan to “on” will make the A/C fan run continuously – all day long. If you choose the “auto” setting, this will allow the fan to shut off with the rest of the cooling system as soon as your desired indoor temperature is reached.
Fan “on” costs more
Unless you have a variable speed motor, that small fan in your furnace can cost a lot to run 24/7. Let’s assume your air conditioner normally cycles off 30 percent of the time. In this example, turning the fan switch to “on” will make the fan run over 200 extra hours a month. For a typical size central air conditioner, that could cost you about $8 more each month. Some people prefer the feel or sound of the fan running all the time. If that’s you, at least now you know how much that choice will cost you. Keep in mind, a fan that runs all the time may wear out sooner.
Another reason to keep it on “auto”
The primary advantage of the “auto” setting is that it uses less energy because it keeps the fan running the least amount of time. Setting your A/C fan to “auto” also helps provide better dehumidification. Have you noticed how moisture from the air condenses on the outside of a cold drink on a humid day? Your A/C unit captures moisture the same way, helping your home feel more comfortable. When the fan cycles off using the “auto” mode, moisture has a chance to drip from the cold cooling coils into the condensation pan and then drain outside. However, when the fan runs all the time in the “on” setting, less moisture has a chance to drip and drain outside.
Learn how to save even more
To keep your energy affordable and help you find more ways to save, visit FPL.com where you can also take our Online Home Energy Survey to get a personalized savings plan filled with energy-saving tips and recommendations. It’s easy, and can save you up to $300 a year.
At FPL, we’re always working to help you keep your energy bills low and find you new ways to save. View our Summer Savings Tips to find ways to save energy and money. Remember, you can save five percent on your monthly cooling costs for each degree you turn your thermostat up. Also, our top summer tips can help you save even more.