Media Release

This aircon habit costs Aussies up to $1.3 billion

  • 1 in 5 Australians leave their air conditioning running when they’re not home
  • Luxury cooling costs an extra $578 per household quarterly bill
  • finder.com.au shares tips on how to keep cool on the cheap this summer

20 December 2017, Sydney, Australia – A new survey by finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything, finds that Aussies are predicted to waste over a billion dollars this summer due to bad aircon habits.

Heatwaves are occurring across the country, but just because it’s heating up doesn’t mean we need to fall victim to bill shock.

The survey of 2,017 respondents reveals that close to a quarter of Australians (23%) – equivalent to 2.3 million households – admit to leaving their air conditioning running when they’re not even home.

Those Aussies that are partial to aircon indulgence waste an average of 4.1 hours in energy per day.

This works out to a cost of up to $1.3 billion in wasted energy expenditure over summer while these homes are sitting empty or an added $578 per household quarterly electricity bill.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at finder.com.au says that for some the consequences of ‘luxury cooling’ are brushed aside as the heat is too much to bear.

“When faced with a heatwave and temperatures as high as 40 degrees, we don’t usually think of our electricity bill some three months away – we just want to instantly cool down.

“But after a few scorchers, this way of thinking can leave you with post-summer bill shock.”

The typical split cycle air-conditioning unit consumes around 5.0 kWh and costs around 2.7 cents to run per minute, which can cost close to $13 per night if you leave it running overnight.

“There are more wallet-friendly ways to keep cool in summer such as keeping blinds closed during the day to keep the sun out, and opting for a fan instead.”

“If you find you really can’t live without air-con invest in a timer. That way you can set it to turn off once you fall asleep.”

Generation Z (18 to 22 year olds) are the least savvy, and keep the cooling running for 5.6 hours a day on average while not home.

In comparison Millennials only waste 4 hours, Gen X waste 3.6 hours, and Baby Boomers indulge in 4.2 hours of cooling while not at home.

Women are slightly more prone to air-con over-indulgence, wasting on average 253 minutes per day, in comparison to men who waste 233 minutes.

So who’s wasting all that air conditioning?
South Australia4.9 hours
Western Australia4.6 hours
Queensland4.3 hours
Victoria4.3 hours
New South Wales3.8 hours

How to slash your cooling costs

  • Strategically use your air-con

Every degree counts when you’re using your air-con. Set it to 25 degrees if you want to keep costs down. Like with heating try to zone your air-conditioning to rooms you’ll actually be using. You can do this by closing the doors to keep the cooler air in. There’s no point in having the air-con running in your bedroom if no one is even in there.

  • Close your blinds

Keep the curtains and blinds closed during the day to keep the sun’s UV rays out. As soon as the sun goes down and the temperature drops outside open up your windows to try and let some of that cooler air in.

  • Compare providers

It’s always a good idea to review your plan and your energy provider regularly to make sure you’re getting the best discounts available, in turn reducing your power bill. If you’re still suffering from winter’s heater bill shock it might be time to jump online and compare, that way you don’t find yourself in a similar situation a the end of the summer quarter.

  • Check the star rating

If your energy bill is bordering on extortion it might be due to old or faulty hardware. You need to ensure your air-con is properly maintained to help it run better and draw on less electricity. You should be doing this at least once year, just before summer rolls around.

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For further information

Disclaimer

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 finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and 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 two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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