The Australian summer is glorious – beautiful beaches, sunny blue skies, and BBQ parties in the backyard. Give us the heat over the cold any day.
But… With high temperature comes high air conditioning bills.
How do we reduce energy costs while keeping our homes nice and comfortable in the warmer weather?
Here are some tips that may help you keep your cool when the bills come:
1. Get a high efficiency air conditioner
First of all, if your air conditioning unit is really old, you may need to consider buying a new one. Running a 15-year-old split system can cost you a lot more than purchasing a newer model, as the older unit may no longer be as energy efficient.
Secondly, if you are in the market for a new air conditioner, be sure to go for a high efficiency model. Not only does a high efficiency air conditioner use less power and help you save on energy costs, but it is also high performing and can last for a longer time.
To assess the air conditioner’s energy efficiency, check the energy star rating. The more stars it has, the more energy efficiency the unit is. For example, a split system unit that has six stars is more energy efficient than a model with four stars.
Besides the star rating, some advanced features in new air conditioner models can also help to reduce energy wastage, such as motion sensor technology and smartphone control.
2. Set the thermostats wisely
On a scorching hot day, you might be tempted to set your thermostat as low as it can go to cool yourself down quickly. Don’t do it!
According to the Energy Efficiency Council, every degree lower you set on the thermostat could add as much as 10 percent more to your energy bills. The optimal temperature is somewhere between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius, so try not to set anything lower than that if you can.
Remember, if you really want to save on energy consumption and reduce your air conditioning bill, every degree makes a difference.
3. Keep the sun out
The sunlight shining through your window is bringing the heat in. Use curtains and blinds, or consider installing awning shades or trees outside your windows to block out the sun.
By keeping the sun from directly shining through your windows, you can help your home stay a little bit cooler. Therefore, your air conditioning unit does not need to work as hard to cool the space down, which in turn means you can keep your energy bills lower.
On a similar note, it may not be a good idea to open up windows and doors for ventilation during very hot days, as that would allow the outdoor heat to come into the house. It is best to open up your house at night or once the outside temperature drops lower than inside.
4. Turn the air con off when not using
This sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many people leave their air conditioner running even when they are not in the room!
According to a 2020 survey by Finder on Australia’s air conditioning usage, as many as 1.9 million Aussies admit to leaving their air con running when they are not at home. Over the three-month summer period, this can cost as much as $97 million in total!
If you tend to forget to turn the air conditioner off, consider installing a programmable thermostat with a built-in timer. Now you can set the thermostat to turn off as specific times, i.e. when you leave for work in the morning.
5. Clean the filters
The air filter in your air conditioner prevents dust from blocking the vents, ensuring that the system continues to run at its highest efficiency. If the filters are dirty, the air con unit will need to work twice as hard, which means more energy consumption and higher energy costs.
Generally, filters should be cleaned or replaced every few months, but you may need to do it more frequently if you have pets, or if you live in a dusty environment, or if you use the air con unit very often.
Cleaning a clogged air filter can reduce energy use by as much as 15 percent, and will also keep the air con working better and lasting longer.
These tips should help you reduce your energy bills this summer! To find out more about high efficiency air conditioners, get in touch with Total Electrics & Air-Conditioning today. We offer a wide range of air conditioning systems with high energy star ratings from leading brands such as LG and Daikin. Speak to our team to get expert advice.