How to save money on your air conditioning bill this summer

4 min read

Summer is almost here, and we’ve already had a few scorchers to give us a taste of what’s to come. Though it’s nice to sit back and blast the aircon, what’s not so hot is an exorbitant energy bill.

Australians spend a collective $4.6 billion on cooling costs each year. During the warmer months, the average Aussie will leave the aircon running for 4.3 hours per day, adding a whopping $623 to their summer quarterly bill.

Wondering how to save money on your air conditioning bill? Graham Cooke, an Energy Expert at, talks us through seven ways to cool down your energy costs this summer.

By making a few simple tweaks to your aircon usage, you could be saving yourself at least $187 on cooling costs this summer!

Young girl staying cool with fan and watermelon

How to save money on your air conditioning bill

Choose the right cooling for your home

Depending on the design of your home, some cooling options may be more effective than others. The better insulated, shaded and draught-proofed a house is, the smaller and cheaper-to-run your cooling unit should be.

Aircon calculators such as help identify the best cooling option for your circumstances, based on your location and room specifications. Cooling options include mechanical units such as fans, evaporative coolers, air conditioners and geothermal coolers.

Check your energy rating

Air conditioners vary significantly when it comes to energy consumption, so make sure to do your research before purchasing. Aircon units are included in the Energy Rating System, which rates products from one to six depending on their energy efficiency. Make sure to purchase the right size cooling unit for your home as well. Homeowners often buy units that are too large for their home, costing them unnecessary money in the process.

Clean the filter

If you’re serious about saving money on your air conditioning bill there are simple maintenance checks you can do yourself that’ll help. If your air conditioner’s filter is clogged with dust and grime, it will have to work twice as hard to pump out cool air. In some cases, it can even ice up and cease working altogether. Try to give the filter a clean every couple of months to ensure optimal performance.

Women cleaning air conditioner filter

Adjust your temperature

Each degree of cooling can increase your energy consumption by as much as 10 per cent. By adding a couple of extra degrees to your preferred setting, you can save a significant amount on your next bill. Try to have the temperature sitting around 25 degrees in the summer. This will ensure your home maintains a comfortable temperature without ramping up your energy usage.

Pre-cool when possible

If you know you’re in for a hot day, pre-cool your house the night before by leaving your windows open. If your house has insulation, the cooler air will be retained the following day, minimising excess strain on your aircon. Make sure to close the windows once it heats up – you don’t want your cold air to go to waste.

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Using blinds, drapes or window shades can also be a surprisingly effective way of keeping your home cool during the summer. They can reduce the overall temperature of your home by as much as three or four degrees. Shade cloths are also a good idea for outdoor areas as they reflect the sun’s glare.

Use a fan

Fans should be your go-to cooling option on hot days. Not only are they cheap to run, but they also produce the lowest greenhouse gas emissions out of all cooling products and reduce the temperature of a room by as much as three degrees. Make sure to check your fan’s power consumption efficiency before buying as models range from 54W to over 100W.

Only use the aircon when you’re at home

Don’t be one of the 2.3 million Aussies who leave the aircon running for up to an hour when they aren’t home. Not only is such wastage terrible for the environment, but it’s also costing us a collective $222 million nationwide. By properly insulating your home, you can ensure it retains cool air after switching off your unit. Keep doors and windows closed and draw the blinds before you step out.

We hope these seven tactics help you to conserve energy and cut down the cost of cooling your home this summer and beyond.


Written by:

Graham Cooke

Graham Cooke is the Insights Editor at where he drives consumer-focused research, and appears regularly on Australian TV and radio discussing issues of consumer interest. He is a graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland and has over ten years of experience in analytics and writing.

Finder knows that everyday life decisions such as finding a credit card, buying a home or getting life insurance can be daunting, confusing and time-consuming. They started off with a mission to help Australians make sense of their finances, and that remains unchanged. Finder now helps millions of people each month learn how to get a better deal across 100+ categories. With several decades of experience between them, Finder's large publishing and editorial team is passionate about the stuff that you might not be, and loves nothing more than digging deep to find out what’s behind the complexities of financial jargon.

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Thank you for explaining how your air conditioner may need to work harder if too much dust has accumulated in the filters. Ever since my brother accidentally kicked his air conditioner while he was bringing a box of antiques to his garage, he has started to notice that it takes a long time for cool air to come out of the unit. I think he should find an expert that will help him maintain his AC.


It’s great that you talked about how the energy efficiency of each AC unit isn’t the same, so it’s important to do research. My spouse and I are noticing that it’s getting really hot in our during the summer. We need to get a new AC unit quickly so that we can avoid the really hot temperatures that make the house unbearable.


Great blog about how to save money on your air conditioning running costs. Its always the best idea to clean your filter regularly.
Look forward to reading more content soon.


These tips are very useful, especially with today’s ongoing high energy demand of every household. A part from that if we used solar devices in our home then it also helpful in saving the power bill. Thanks for sharing this post.


I must say that you have shared a admirable blog it is very helpful for the peoples who want to enjoy and work out simultaneously.


That’s good to know that if you let your house cool down overnight before a particularly hot day that it will e easier on your air conditioner in the morning. I’ll have to consider giving that a try as well as getting it checked out by a professional. I would think that both of those would help to make sure that it runs at maximum efficiency.


Great Post! Just changing the temperature of your house from 16 C to about 24 Degrees, you can really save a lot of money. Your house doesn’t have to be an icebox all summer.


I had no idea that your air conditioner will have to work twice as hard if its filter is clogged with dust and grime. My father has been renovating his house so that he can increase its value and sell it for a profit. His air conditioner has been broken for a while, so it might be good for him to have a company install a new one for him.


Great Job!!
Such an informative post. You gave good knowledge to us about saving energy and cost. We must take care of this thing that switches off electrical appliances when nobody uses them. It can be the most effective source of decreasing your electricity bills. Apart from this, repairs and maintenance of your electrical appliances are the most important task for maintaining your appliances for a long time. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us. keep sharing your more ideas.

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