With summer just around the corner, you’ve probably started to dust off your electric fans, crank down the thermostat, and slip into looser clothing to stay cool and comfortable.
How much damage can air conditioning do to your bill?
According to Canstar Blue, running a split system A/C for four hours per day
all summer can add around $200 to your yearly electricity bill, while the same
usage for a ducted A/C can add a massive $1,000 to your bill.[i]
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re looking for ways to cool off this summer, here’s how to save money on your air conditioning bill.
1. Buy a properly sized air conditioner :
Invest in energy-rated air conditioning that meets the minimum kilowatts required to comfortably cool your room. For instance, the minimum kilowatts required to cool a small room (of around 10 to 20 square metres) is roughly 2.8KW. Keep in mind, the larger the room becomes, the less efficient certain types of air conditioners become – such as portable, small split system, and window box units.
2. Frequently maintain your air conditioner:
Before summer kicks into high gear, carry out these maintenance checks to ensure you’re A/C unit will operate at peak efficiency:
• Clean the air conditioner filter, coils, and coil fins:
The presence of dirt and dust can restrict airflow and force the unit to work harder than it should, resulting in higher running costs and reducing the lifespan of the unit.
• Check for blockages in the condensate drains:
Use a stiff wire to clear any potential blockages in the unit’s drain channels. If the blockage is left there, it may impact the unit’s ability to reduce humidity and result in excess moisture building up in the room.
• Ensure the seal is tight for window box units:
Don’t let precious cool air escape! Inspect the seal between your air conditioner and the window frame to ensure that the frame makes contact with the unit.
If you’re still having performance issues with your air conditioner, contact your local electrician for servicing.
3. Optimise airflow in your house:
Avoid having windows open on a hot sunny day, so as to keep the hot air out and trap the cool air in.
Once the temperature drops in the evening (where the air is cooler outside than inside), open up the windows. You can also speed up the process by using electric fans to your advantage. Have one fan face an open window to ‘push’ the hot air inside, and have another face toward the room to ‘pull’ the cold air in.
You can also get creative and hang a damp bed sheet in front of an open window. The air will pass through the damp sheet and reward you with an extra cool breeze.
4. Find and seal air leaks:
Here’s a little known way to save money on your air conditioning: look for potential air leaks around your home. Some of the most common sources of air leaks around the house include:
• Unsealed doors and windows
• Unsealed skylights, vents, and exhaust fans
• Gaps between the walls (i.e. corners, power outlets, switches)
• Poorly fitted carpet and floorboards
Some of these leaks can be fixed yourself. You can use caulk to seal up gaps in the doors and windows, and you can purchase a few door snakes to restrict airflow for doors with large gaps at the bottom.
Any leak that relates to a structural issue will require the services of a professional builder to repair.
5. Shade your home:
Effective shading can block up to 90 percent of heat in your home. When the sun is beating down, be sure to close all of your blinds (including outdoor blinds) and curtains yet still provide enough light to stay comfortable. Another great way to block sunlight is by planting tall plants in front of your windows. The plants will absorb the light for photosynthesis and provide a sufficient amount of UV protection to help keep the house cooler.[i]
on how to save money
on air conditioning this summer, contact us today. By carrying out an energy
assessment in your home, we can tell you how much energy you’re using and
recommend ways to reduce your energy bills while staying comfortable.