It is better to keep air conditioning on all afternoon then to turn it off & on

I recently got into an argument with a buddy about an air conditioning topic.

My buddy stated that it makes more sense financially & environmentally to turn your central air conditioning off when you go to work, then to turn it back on when you go home.

His logic also applied to running errands such as grocery shopping, or if you are at beach house & feeling adore you do not need the air conditioning to be on at that moment. My side of the argument is that you should leave the air conditioning running when you are at work, but make sure to adjust the thermostat to set the temperature a bit higher when you are away & then you can turn it down a bit when you get beach house to maximize your indoor comfort. My buddy did not agree with my side of this air conditioning argument because he said that I am wasting energy & cash when I am not at home. I see where he is coming from, even though I explained that it will easily take more energy to cool the beach house after the air conditioning has been off. We live in a boiling & humid area, so to turn the cooling system off, & then back on requires a lot of energy. He stated that I am ruining the environment by consistently running my air conditioning. I politely reminded him that I am not consistently running the air conditioning all year & that I only have it on at all times in the summer. I also have a smart thermostat which helps save energy & cash. He did not open up to my side of the argument, even though I am comfortable using my smart thermostat & that works best for me.
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