Even though fall hasn’t officially started yet, it sure has felt like it in Southeastern Michigan. After a chilly Labor Day weekend, we’ve had a week of gray skies and cooler temperatures that are helping us all get into the season. In true Michigan fashion, however, there is a heat wave in the forecast that will jolt us back to summer weather for a short while.
In my house, once the temperatures cooled down, we shut off our air conditioner and let the natural temperatures do the trick of keeping us comfortable. Now that things are warming back up again, you may be asking the question, “Should I turn my air conditioner back on?” It is worth it to flip it on for a 2-day heat wave, or is it better to just ride out the hot temperatures?
Sorry, I know that’s a vague answer, but the truth is that this answer will be different for everyone depending on a variety of circumstances. One of the first things to consider is safety.
Think about how high temperatures the will be, how much time your family will be spending in your home, and whether or not you have family members, such as children and elderly, who are at risk for heat-related illnesses. The safety of everyone should be the primary concern. If you have young children or elderly family members in your home, you want to make sure that they do not overheat.
The next things to think about are energy efficiency and the well-being of your air conditioner. It costs energy and money to run your air conditioner, but it costs no money or energy to keep it shut off.
We usually recommend that you need to have at least two days of warm weather in order to turn the air conditioner on. That’s because it takes that long for the oil in the compressor to loosen up in order to operate well. Think of it like it takes the a/c at least to days to shake out all the creaks and get rid of the all cracks and running in top shape again. If the heatwave is just going to last a day or two before temperatures plummet again, it might be a good idea to keep the air conditioner off because it won’t have enough time to run properly.