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 finder.com.au, 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!
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 FairAir.com 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.
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.
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.