Media Release

Blowing their cool: Australians will spend $1.9 billion on summer aircon costs

        • 63% of Australians use their aircon during summer
        • Severe heatwave expected to hit this weekend
        • How to keep cool without blowing the budget

26 November 2020, Sydney, Australia – Australians could save big on their aircon bill simply by adjusting the thermostat, new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site reveals.

A new nationally representative Finder survey of 1,011 respondents revealed 63% use their aircon during the hotter months, at a combined cost of $1.9 billion.

The research found the average Aussie sets their thermostat to 22 degrees Celsius.

Yet if these Aussies were to increase their thermostat to the optimal temperature of 24 degrees Celsius instead, they could save a cumulative $486 million on summer cooling costs, or $76 per household.

Temperatures are set to soar in the few days leading up to summer, with some parts of the country expected to hit 50 degrees Celsius.

Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder, said aircon costs can come as a surprise at the end of your billing period.

"Your aircon will keep you cool on a scorching day, but you may end up hot around the collar when your next energy bill arrives.

"Air conditioning units can churn through a lot of power, especially if you're using an older unit or one with a low energy star rating," Cooke said.

The research also found that of those who use air conditioning, 1 in 10 (10%) leave their unit running while they aren't at home.

This aircon wastage results in an additional loss of $22 million, across Australia.

New South Wales residents are the most prone to aircon wastage, keeping their unit running for 6.3 hours per week while they aren't at home, followed by Victorian residents at 5.6 hours per week.

Cooke said there are plenty of ways Aussies can keep cooling costs down.

"Try and keep your temperature settings at around 24 degrees on average – every degree lower can increase energy consumption by 10%.

"Getting smart is another great way to save. Infra-red controllers are available which can turn your aircon on as you approach your home, and off when you leave. This can help save hugely on running the AC when it's not required."

"You should only use aircon in the rooms you're actually occupying, like your home office. Keep doors, blinds and windows closed to trap cool air in.

"If you're still unsure as to why your power bill is so high, it might be a sign that it's time to switch to a cheaper energy provider.

"You can compare energy providers for free at Finder," Cooke said.


  • This study was designed by Finder and conducted by Qualtrics, a SAP company.
  • The online survey was conducted using a nationally representative survey sample of 1,011 Australian adults.
  • Air conditioning costs were calculated as a percentage of the maximum possible running cost. Units were presumed to run continuously with a temperature difference between the outside and thermostat of 20 degrees Celsius, with the running time decreasing by 5% for every degree below this. At the bottom of the scale, a one-degree difference would result in the unit running 5% of the time.
  • These figures should be only used as a rough estimate of usage cost. Actual cost will depend on several factors such as the size of the room being cooled, air conditioner settings, quality of insulation and electricity tariff.

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How to stay cool without blowing the budget:

  • Close the blinds and use a fan. If you know you're in for a scorcher, close any blinds and curtains early on in the day to keep your home cool. A fan can help to circulate cooler air throughout the room.
  • Have a cold shower. Jumping in a cold shower will cool you down instantly. This option is great if you can't sleep – not only will it lower your body temperature but it will help reduce stickiness too.
  • Head to the pool or beach. Cool off with a dip in the water. Just make sure to use plenty of sunscreen and stay out of the sun as much as possible.


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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

About Finder

Every month 2.6 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now have offices in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and the Philippines. For further information visit

12.6 million average unique monthly audience (June- September 2019), Nielsen Digital Panel

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