Updated September 2023
If you’re like most homeowners, you’re tired of seeing skyrocketing energy bills throughout the summer months. There are many different methods prescribed on blogs around the internet to help homeowners save money on their energy expenses during the summer. Unfortunately, one of the most common misconceptions is that opening windows during overnight hours always helps to reduce energy costs.
Reducing Overnight Energy Bills
At first, it seems to make perfect sense to open your windows and turn off your air conditioning unit during the summer nights. Typically, during the overnight hours, it gets much colder outside. You can allow this outside air to enter your home through your open windows while you cut back on having to run your air conditioning system. It can seem very enticing to cut out running your air conditioning system for eight or more hours every night of the week. That can translate to some hefty energy savings for your wallet.
Some Other Benefits of Sleeping With Open Windows
Apart from saving some cash on your monthly energy bills when you keep your windows open at night, you can also benefit from the white noise that it provides. If you live in a fairly quieter section of town, you can enjoy soothing bits of white noise that will allow you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Some studies even suggest that sleeping with white noise can help to train your brain to know when it’s time to hit the sack in the future.
Having your windows open allows for a refreshing breeze. This can let your body de-stress and feel more comfortable. Many people report having a better night’s sleep when they have a cool and refreshing breeze coming in their windows. This breeze will also help to remove excess carbon dioxide buildup that occurs while you’re sleeping for hours on end. This can reduce symptoms of high carbon dioxide exposure like headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
It’s true that when your home’s windows are shut, you can trap in unwanted airborne particles. These include things like pet hair, dander, and dust mites. While your air conditioning system does have a filter where it can remove some of these airborne particles, it takes much longer to do so as compared to opening your window. Your window allows a large portion of air to flush into the rooms of your home and dissipate the number of harmful airborne pollutants that are present inside of your home.
Some Drawbacks to Opening Your Windows at Night
Probably one of the biggest drawbacks of keeping your windows open at night is allergy flare-ups. When the spring and summertime hits, allergy sufferers experience sinus problems and other flare-up symptoms when levels of airborne particles like pollen are high. When you open your windows during the overnight hours, you essentially let in all of these harmful airborne particles. When you opt for keeping them closed, your HVAC system will filter out those nasty airborne particles and keep your allergy flare-ups to a minimum.
Going a whole night with your windows open can allow excess moisture into your home when humidity levels are up. This humid air will make it feel hotter than it actually is. When you go to turn on your air conditioning system the next morning, your system is going to have to work twice as hard to remove all that excess humidity from the air. You may even find yourself turning the thermostat down on your air conditioning system because you’re overheating due to the humidity trapped in your home. This will cause your energy bills to increase during the daytime hours and can cancel out any benefits you gain from having it off during overnight hours.
One problem that you may run into when you have your windows open during the overnight hours is that it may heat up outside before you wake up to shut your windows. The warm air can blow right in and have your home feeling overly hot and your body uncomfortable. Not only is this a very annoying way to wake up, but your air conditioning system will need to consistently run to get your indoor temperature back down to your desired temperature setting. While you may save a bundle on not running your air conditioning system when you’re sleeping, you can end up forking over some of those savings to run your air conditioning system for multiple cycles in the morning.
A Note on Air Conditioning System Upgrades
If it seems like your energy bills are much higher than they used to be in past summers, it could be an indication that your air conditioning system is reaching the end of its lifespan. Most air conditioning systems will last anywhere between 12 and 17 years. If your system is reaching its later years, you should consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient option. While this will come at a higher upfront cost, you may be surprised at how much energy savings you can enjoy every month with newer technology.
Other Safe Methods for Reducing Summertime Energy Costs
Probably one of the most effective methods to help reduce energy costs is to utilize window shades or a blind during the daylight hours and in the early morning. These blinds will help to keep direct sunlight out of your home. Many people are shocked to discover that having direct sunlight come in their windows can actually heat up a room between 10 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a smart or programmable thermostat is another great option for lowering your utility bills during the summertime. You’ll want to adjust the temperature to be higher when your family is not home. If you spend a good seven or eight hours away from your home during the daytime, that’s a lot of time that you can essentially turn off your air conditioning system and save energy.
Another excellent method for increasing your comfort in the summer months while reducing your energy bills is to utilize overhead ceiling fans. You should install these fans in bedrooms, living rooms, and other common areas. It’s best to make sure that you have your fan blades rotating in a counterclockwise direction to force air down onto you. Just the simple breeze of a ceiling fan can help to lower your body temperature and overall feel of the room up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit.
A fairly simple strategy that can help to reduce your energy bills in the summer is to avoid using your oven. Your oven can put off a lot of heat that your air conditioning system will have to combat. Instead of using your oven, opt for crafting cold-style meals and using an outdoor grill for all of your hot meals. Grilling will not only keep the heat it produces outside, but it’s the perfect excuse to get the family together outdoors for a nice cookout.
Expert Air Conditioning Services
Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating provides expert air conditioning services for the San Antonio, TX region. We’re also available for all of your heating, ductless, VRF system, new construction, custom remodel, air duct cleaning, and indoor air quality needs.