AC’s over summer. Should I leave them on or turn them off?

The eternal question for all UAE residents planning to travel over the summer period. Some say to leave the AC’s running. Some say to turn them off.

Whilst there are no hard and fast rules, here are some points for consideration:

  • Will anyone have regular access to your property whilst you are away? It is always a good idea to ask a friend to do a quick tour of your home a couple of times a week. Hence if any issues develop with your AC’s whilst you are away, the problems can be rectified before major damage occurs.
  • How frequently do you get your AC’s maintained by a reputable company? Basic math tells you that an AC that is used 24 hours a day whilst you are away may need to be serviced more often than an AC that is only being used at night time. Hence if your AC’s have not been recently been serviced before you leave and you decide to leave them switched on throughout your absence, it should not be a surprise if there are problems upon your return. 
  • Do you have plants or animals or other precious possessions that could be susceptible to heat and humidity? If this is the case, you options for saving your DEWA bill are more limited. However if these possessions are portable, think about moving them all into one area, so you only have one area of your property to cool.
  • What about leaving the AC’s off entirely? This is clearly the best idea for both the environment and your DEWA bill but it does come at a risk. The difference between day and night temperatures can lead to periods of high humidity which could potentially damage the possessions within your property. 
  • Is there a compromise solution? If you are able to arrange a ‘caretaker’ for your property, think about the minimum amount of A/C you could leave on whilst maintaining a stable but higher temperature of 27-28 degrees. Leave all doors within your property open to promote airflow, and if you plan to only leave one AC operating within a villa, choose an upstairs AC as cooler air naturally falls thereby promoting circulation with the ground floor. If you are confident about your natural airflow throughout your property and your AC system has the option of the fan only coming on when needed, choose this too to save additional electricity costs.   

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