As the weather begins to warm up, so does the cost of air conditioning. If your energy bills have been through the roof lately, you’re not alone. In Australia, air conditioning is one of the biggest summertime expenses.
Having your air con regularly serviced and keeping your air filters clean are the two easiest ways to reduce your energy bills. Adjusting your thermostat and insulating your home are other key ways to improve your air conditioner’s efficiency.
But there are plenty of ways to reduce your energy consumption without sacrificing your comfort. The efficiency of your unit depends on more than just how often you clean your air con filters.
Here are 15 tips to help you keep your cool this summer without breaking the bank.
15 Energy-Saving Tips to Reduce Air Conditioning Bills
Here are 15 top tips to help you stay cool while keeping your energy bill low:
1. Get a Home Energy Efficiency Audit
One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system is to get an energy audit. An energy audit is a process in which a trained professional assesses your home’s energy usage and provides recommendations for improvement. An energy audit can help you identify areas where your home is losing energy, such as draughty windows or poorly insulated walls.
Many utility companies offer free or discounted energy audits for their customers, so be sure to check with yours to see if they offer this service. If you want to really pinpoint areas where your home is losing energy, consider getting an energy audit from a professional contractor.
2. Use Smart Air Conditioning Technology
One simple way to reduce your air conditioning costs is to upgrade your air conditioner to a ‘smart’ or programmable model. Smart home automation for air conditioning allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day, so you’re not cooling your home when no one is home. Additionally, many smart air con units now come with features that allow you to control them remotely via your smartphone or tablet.
A newer model air conditioner will also be more accurate than an older one, which means it will do a better job of maintaining the desired temperature in your home. Additionally, many newer units come with features that can further boost efficiency, such as occupancy sensors that know when someone is home and away settings that let you customise temperatures for different times of the day.
3. Use Ceiling Fans with your AC
Ceiling fans can be a great way to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system. Ceiling fans circulate air throughout the room, making it feel cooler without actually lowering the temperature. In fact, using a ceiling fan can allow you to raise the temperature on your air conditioner by about four degrees without affecting your comfort level.
When using ceiling fans, be sure to set them to rotate counter-clockwise, as this will create a cooling breeze. Just be sure to turn off the fan when you leave the room so it isn’t working unnecessarily.
4. Keep Your Blinds Closed
Another simple way to reduce the amount of heat entering your home is to keep your blinds closed during the day. By keeping your blinds closed, you can block out the sun’s rays and prevent heat from building up in your home. Close them during the day to keep out the sun’s rays, and open them at night to allow the heat that has built up in your home to escape.
South-facing windows tend to let in more heat than other windows in the home due to their exposure to direct sunlight during the day. To help keep your home cool during the summer months, consider hanging curtains or shades on south-facing windows during the day.
5. Seal Leaks and Gaps
Another easy way to boost your AC’s efficiency is to make sure your home is well-sealed. Drafts can allow cool air to escape, which means your AC has to work harder to maintain the desired temperature.
One of the most common ways that cool air escapes from homes is through leaks and gaps around doors and windows. To prevent cool air from escaping, be sure to seal any leaks or gaps with caulk or weatherstripping.
Of course, you should also keep the heat out by closing your windows and doors when you have the air conditioner on.
6. Upgrade Your Air Con Filter
Another easy way to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner is to upgrade your air filter. Air filters remove contaminants from the air, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. However, over time, air filters can become clogged with these contaminants, which reduces their ability to circulate air properly.
A dirty air filter restricts airflow and makes your AC work harder, which uses more energy and drives up your utility bills. To ensure that your air conditioner is operating at peak efficiency, be sure to clean or replace your air filter every 1-3 months. You may need to change yours more frequently if you have pets or live in a dusty area.
However, you should also clean your air filter between upgrades and replacements. Cleaning your air filter regularly can help you save money by reducing how often you need to replace yours. If you don’t know how to clean an air conditioner filter, contact your local air con specialist for tips and advice.
7. Avoid Heat-Generating Appliances
During the summer months, try to reduce the use of heat-generating appliances such as ovens and dryers. Also avoid using hair dryers, laundry machines, or dishwashers during peak hours (usually from 3pm to 9pm).
These appliances generate a lot of heat, which can cause your home’s temperature to rise. Your air conditioner will need to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.
If possible, use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible. Avoid using the oven or stove when it’s hot outside. Instead, opt for salads that don’t require cooking, or cook meals outside on the BBQ.
8. Plant Shade Trees and Shrubs
Trees and shrubs can provide shade for your home and help keep it cooler during the summer months. If you live in an area with hot summers, consider planting trees or shrubs around your home to provide natural shade and reduce the amount of heat entering your home.
Additionally, trees and shrubs can also help improve airflow around your home and reduce energy costs associated with cooling your home.
9. Use Kitchen and Bathroom Exhaust Fans Sparingly
Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom remove heat and moisture from the air, which can make them feel cooler even if the temperature doesn’t change much. However, they also remove cool air from your home, so use them sparingly when possible.
For example, turn on the exhaust fan while cooking or taking a shower, but turn it off as soon as possible afterwards so it isn’t running unnecessarily.
10. Insulate Your Home
Proper insulation will help keep the heat out and prevent your air conditioner from working overtime. Many homes are not properly insulated, which leads to higher energy bills and a less comfortable home.
If your home is more than 10 years old, it may be time to add more insulation. Check your attic, walls, floors, and crawl spaces for insulation. You can also have a professional energy auditor conduct an insulation assessment to determine if your home needs more insulation.
11. Service Your AC Unit Regularly
A well-maintained air conditioner will run more efficiently than one that’s not been serviced in awhile. Schedule an appointment with an AC technician to clean your unit and check for any potential problems before the summer season begins. This will help you avoid any unexpected breakdowns and ensure that your unit is running at peak efficiency.
12. Be Strategic About Timing
It’s easy to assume that running your AC for a shorter time is most energy-efficient, but this isn’t the case. It’s actually more cost-effective to run your air con before it gets too hot during the day, since it needs less power to combat the temperature. It’s also easier on the AC unit itself, helping to prevent wear and tear from overwork.
If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time, though, it’s still a good habit to turn your air conditioning off completely. Doing a quick check of your home air con units before you leave the house (and especially before you leave for a holiday) will save you money on your energy bill.
13. Upgrade to a More Energy-Efficient Unit
If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it may be time to upgrade to a newer, more energy-efficient model. Newer units use less electricity and can save you money on your energy bills.
There are many different brands of air conditioners on the market, but not all of them are created equal in terms of energy efficiency. Some brands are more efficient than others, and can save you money on your energy bills over time.
Here is a list of some of the most energy-efficient air conditioning brands available today:
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
14. Consider Alternative Cooling Methods
If your energy bills are really through the roof, you may want to consider alternatives to traditional air conditioning, such as evaporative cooling or ducted reverse cycle systems, which can be up to 50% more energy efficient than standard AC units.
Evaporative coolers, or evaporative air conditioners, are a great alternative to traditional air conditioning units. They use less electricity than AC units and can be up to 50% more energy efficient.
They also work well in dry climates, and can be used to cool your home or office down quickly. Evaporative coolers are available in both indoor and outdoor models, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
15. Adjust Your Temperature Settings
One of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bills is to adjust your temperature settings. During the summer months, set your thermostat to 23 to 26 degrees Celsius for airflow that will keep you comfortable but won’t generate huge electricity bills.
In winter, set your reverse cycle heating to anywhere between 18 and 20 degrees celsius. Every degree you raise or lower your thermostat can save you up to 5% on your energy bills.
These are just a few tips to help you save money on your energy bill this summer while still staying cool and comfortable in your home. For more information on how to reduce your energy consumption, contact us today at Platinum Power & Air! We’re always happy to help our customers find ways to save money and stay comfortable all summer long.
What Is the Most Energy Efficient Air Con Temperature in Australia?
The most energy efficient air con temperature in Australia is typically around 26 degrees Celsius. However, this may vary depending on the specific model of air conditioner you have, as well as your location.
How Can I Make My Air Conditioner More Energy Efficient?
There are a few things you can do to make your air conditioner more energy efficient, such as:
- Schedule regular maintenance appointments to keep your unit clean and in good working condition
- Upgrade to a more energy-efficient model
- Consider alternatives to traditional air conditioning, such as evaporative cooling or ducted reverse cycle systems.
How Much Does It Cost to Run an Air Conditioner per Hour?
The cost of running an air conditioner per hour varies depending on the specific model and efficiency of the unit. On average, air conditioning units cost from 25 cents per hour up to $3 per hour for a large ducted AC system.
How Do I Reduce My Air Conditioning Bill?
There are a few things you can do to reduce your air conditioning bill, such as:
- Turn on your air conditioner right before you need it instead of letting it run all day long
- If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time, turn it off completely to save even more money
- Adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature when you’re home, and lower it when you’re away.
You can also contact us at Platinum Power & Air for more information on how to reduce your energy consumption and save money on your air conditioning bill.
This article is published in good faith and for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute an estimate or quote for any specific service. Platinum Power & Air does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. This article is not intended to replace consultation with a licensed air conditioning technician.