How to minimise your air conditioner running costs this summer
Beat the heat and avoid a big power bill with these essential money-saving tips for your air conditioner
While air conditioners are one of the most energy efficient solutions out there, extended use can still result in a higher power bill during the summer months.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat the looming impact of AC airflow - which is good for both your wallet and the environment. Here are 7 simple strategies you can employ to keep your energy bill down without sweating buckets.
Close Windows And Blinds
Sometimes, the simplest life hacks are also the best. On a hot summer's day, a large window can quickly turn your home into an oven. Leaving your blinds closed or even partially closed during the day will definitely help to keep the temperature down which in turn means you won't need to blast your air conditioner as much.
Minimise The Amount Of Space You're Trying To Heat
Reducing the amount of space that your air conditioner is trying to cool is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stay comfortable while reducing energy use. The less space your air conditioner has to cool, the less amount of time it will need to run and the less energy it will consume.
Only cool the spaces that are being used, close any open doors and block off any entrance ways that may allow the cold air to escape. This is especially important if you are trying to cool either the downstairs or upstairs area of a two storey house.
If you're working from home with the partner or hanging out with the kids, try and do so in the same room to help save energy. This will be a lot more cost effective than setting up multiple cool spaces around the house. (A good quality headset should minimise distractions during Zoom calls.)
Seal The Gaps
Another simple trick is to snugly line the gaps of doors and windows with material to keep the cool air in - think of it like a fridge. This is crucial if your air conditioner happens to be in the same room as your front/back door which can let in a lot of hot air.
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24-25 Degrees Is Actually Fine
When you're hot and bothered, it can be tempting to set your AC at 16 degrees or less in an attempt to replicate a chilly winter's day. However, using the lowest setting is rarely if ever necessary. Instead, stick to a temperature setting in the mid to low 20s. This should result in a pleasantly warm atmosphere. According to Energy Australia, setting your air conditioner just one degree warmer can cut your AC energy bill by as much as 10 per cent.
By the same token, try to avoid the highest fan setting. While a low fan setting will take longer to cool the room down it will also be a lot cheaper.
Claim Your Energy Usage On Tax
If you work from home, you can claim back some of your tax for energy usage including your AC unit. In the wake of coronavirus, the ATO has introduced a new 80 cents per hour shortcut method that makes it easy to recoup your costs. Read our working from home tax guide for more information.
Regularly Clean Your Air Conditioner (Inside and Out)
Regularly cleaning and replacing your air conditioner's filter will help to keep it running as efficiently as possible. However, you should also take time to clean the outside condenser of dirt, leaves and grime. You can do this with a stick or toothbrush, but make sure it's switched off first! In short, a well maintained air conditioner will cost less money to run.
Upgrade To A Better Air Conditioner
If all else fails, it might be time to replace your existing air conditioner unit with a newer, more energy efficient model. While the upfront costs are obviously higher, you'll save money in the long run and likely be cooler and more comfortable in the long run.
There have been a range of technological advances in recent years that has seen air conditioners run more effectively while using less energy - which translates to a smaller power bill. For example, Mitsubishi Heavy's Industries' Bronte series uses the same CFD (computational fluid dynamics) tech found in jet engines to deliver a high level of energy efficiency while remaining quiet and powerful. Or the Avanti PLUS model which incorporates a motion sensor and eco mode to detect human activity and adjust the temperature to save energy.
Looking to upgrade your air con? Purchase an eligible Mitsubishi Heavy Industries air conditioner before 31 January 2021 and get up to $300 cashback. This includes the aforementioned Bronte and Avanti PLUS series. Learn more about the promotion including terms and conditions, eligible models, etc here. (Limited time only.)