Summer has barely just arrived, but the few scorchers we’ve already had should have served as nice reminders of what’s to come. This weather can make it tempting to blast the air con so that you can walk around the house in jeans but doing this can leave with an excessive energy bill at the end of the month.
Overall, Australians spend around $4.6 billion a year on air conditioning, which comes from an average daily use of 4.3 hours in the summer. This extra use adds on an $623 to Australian electricity bills, which is a truly astronomical number.
Some air con will always be necessary, but there are ways to reduce your use, and, more important, save some money.
Choose the Right Cooling Option
Depending on the type of home you own, some cooling options may be better than others. For example, poorly insulated homes may do better with mechanical units such as fans or evaporation coolers, whereas other will be able to use regular air con more efficiently. Do some research to figure out what’s best for your home before cranking the AC to full blast.
Check Your Energy Rating
To help reduce consumption, make sure you’re using the most efficient AC units. The Energy Rating System will help to tell you how much electricity your unit will use. Another thing to do is to make sure you’re buying the right unit. Homeowners frequently buy units that are too large for their homes, and this leads to overuse and higher bills.
Clean the Filter
Far too many people only clear their air con unit’s filter a few times a year. But doing this is likely costing you money. When dust, dirt and grime get into the filter, then the unit has to work extra hard to suck in air, cool it and send it back out. Sometimes a clogged filter can cause the unit to freeze over, and then it will stop working and may even break. As a result, make sure you’re cleaning the filter regularly, at least every couple of weeks.
Adjust the Temperature
Each degree of cooling can raise energy consumption by as much as 10 per cent. Consider adding a few degrees to your setting. It may seem warm at first, but you’ll get used to it, and you’ll really get used to the savings this simple step produces.
Pre-Cool When Possible
Save some money by putting Mother Nature to work for you. Open your windows at night to let the cool air come in, and then close them back up in the morning. Well-insulated homes will trap this air inside, meaning your air con unit needs to work less to bring the temperature down to your preferred level.
Use a Fan
When it gets warm, instead of immediately turning on the AC, consider turning a fan on first, especially if you’re just going to be in one area of the home. This will reduce the amount of energy you need to cool the home.
Only Cool When You’re Home
What sense does it make to run the AC when no one is home? None at all, really. Make use of programmable thermostats to make sure the AC isn’t running while the home is empty. But for this to work, you may need to first invest in some good insulation so that the cool air inside doesn’t escape.
We probably can’t avoid AC costs, but these tips will help you keep them to a manageable level.