The smart air conditioning guide: how to save money on your energy bill
Australian summers are hot, hot, hot. We’re all tempted to run our air conditioners at icy temperatures, 24/7. But if you do, you’ll end up hot under the collar watching your energy bills soar. So how can you stay comfortable without skyrocketing bills? Consider these handy tips from Design Air, Australia’s top value ducted air conditioning specialists.
Set the temperature right
Set the thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature to maximise your energy savings. Each degree you decrease the setting will increase your running cost by up to 10%.
We recommend keeping the temperature at 24 degrees when you are at home and increasing it to about 25 degrees during the night or 27 degrees if you are going out.
A programmable thermostat is ideal for setting regular temperatures.
Keep the correct doors closed
Any rooms that are not being air conditioned should be closed. You don't want to introduce hot air from these areas.
On the other hand any rooms that are being air conditioned should have doors open (at least ajar) to enable this air conditioned air to return to the return air grille. This does 2 things. It gives the thermostat a more accurate temperature to react to and also returns cooler air back to the indoor unit where it will be cooled further causing the system to become more efficient as it recycles the air.
Adjust your window coverings accordingly
Keeping out natural daylight, especially direct sunlight, can keep out the heat. Pull your curtains or blinds closed during the day to reduce the amount of effort your air conditioner expends to keep your house cool. Alternately, open your window coverings and windows during the cooler night time hours to let the heat of the day escape.
Move the air around
Using a simple ceiling fan can reduce your energy consumption.
Sometimes, especially at night, a fan might be enough to cool you without having to turn on your air conditioner. Fans consume much less energy than air conditioners and you can realise energy savings of up to 96%.
CLEAN YOUR RETURN AIR FILTER REGULARLY
Check your filter every month, and if it looks dirty remove it and clean it. Your filter should be cleaned every 3 months at minimum and more often during the summer months. A dirty filter slows down air flow and makes your air conditioner work harder to keep you cool.
If your filter begins to look tired and holes are appearing, replacing the filter material is cheap to do and ensures peak filtering of the airflow.
Get your air conditioner regularly serviced
It’s important for your system to be regularly ‘tuned-up’ to maintain its efficiency. Importantly, most air conditioner warranties can be void if they have not been regularly serviced as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, servicing is once a year.
Seal up your house
If the cool air your air conditioner is pumping into your home is escaping and hot air is coming in, your system is working harder and longer than it has to in order to keep you cool. Make sure your doors and windows are sealed properly to keep your energy consumption low.
Turn off your lights and computers
Lights produce heat which in turn make your air conditioner work harder and increase your energy costs. Computers and other home office equipment also generate heat. Turn them off when you don’t need them on. This will reduce heatload on the system.
MAKE SMART COOLING CHOICES
Avoid generating heat from cooking inside whenever you can, so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work even harder to cool your rooms down. Cook on your outside grill, and if you have to cook inside use you appliances minimally.