Efficient to AC both upstairs and down?

olive51August 3, 2008

We have two AC units (one each for up and downstairs). We don't use our upstairs in the summer. Is it more efficient to turn off the upstairs, or does that make the downstairs unit work harder? Our foyer goes up to the second floor ceiling. We can close off the rooms upstairs but not the hall and of course, foyer area. Does it make more monetary sense to cool the upstairs just a bit so the downstairs AC doesn't work so hard? Thanks.

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Air condtioners can't work too hard. They are either running or not. For best efficiency, they should run almost continiously in hot weather. Whatever you do, don't do it so that one or both continually switch on and off. That is known as short cycling, and it will cost you more money in energy and shortened system life than anything else.

Short cycling indicates too much system for your needs, and it usually results in poor humdity removal.

If you can, set things so that one unit is on almost all the time and the other one never runs.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 8:54PM
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Thanks Frog Hopper, this makes sense. Maybe I will get an AC specialist to check our system and make sure all is well and running as it should--our electric bills have been terribly high lately.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 10:11PM
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Having a checkup would be a great idea, especially if you haven't had one done in a while. Perhaps they will find something that is a plausible cause of the high electric bills--incorrect refrigerant charge, dirty coils, etc... Call a reputable company and ask for a tune-up. Well-maintained systems tend to have a longer lifespan.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 11:52PM
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Thanks Ryan!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 8:32AM
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