How to cut down on Air Conditioner costs?
There are not many of us that don’t love the functionality that an air conditioner provides us. With reverse cycle systems providing conditioned, warmed air around our room or whole home over winter, then conveniently removing all the humidity and cooling our homes to the temperature of our choice over the blistering Australian summers. Air conditioning really is the perfect way to live it climate controlled comfort.
There is no question that there are many considerations when looking into air conditioners and many people consider them to be ‘too expensive’, however, there are some simple ways that homeowners and renters alike can cut down on the expenses of air conditioner costs.
When you are looking into your air conditioner for your home or office, there is a range of considerations that you need to take into account. If you are doing a new build or retrofitting an existing property there may be a range of air conditioners you are looking into from window units, wall mounted units, split systems or even a fully ducted system.
Also, you may be considering a reverse cycle option which will offer your home or office heating during the colder days and cool, fresh air conditioned air in the sweltering summer. But what system best suits your home?
When the cheapest is not always the cheapest
Without the correct guidance, you may purchase an air conditioner that is far from ‘fit for purpose’, which could end up costing you more money in the long run. For example, if you are trying to use a 2.5kW system (smallest split systems) to head a 40m2 room, it needs to work extremely hard to even ‘touch the sides’ in terms of heating or cooling your room.
As a guide you should stick to the minimum kW required for your room size below:
- 20m2 or smaller – 2.8kW
- 20m2 – 40m2 – 4.2kW
- 40m2 or larger 5.6kW or above
The key is to understand the size of your room to grasp the size of the kW you need to effectively heat & cool the system and speak to an expert on how to do it.
It may be tempting to look at budget systems or only the systems you can afford, but in many cases, this may not be appropriate. You may not have the features or have the power to do what you need, so in the long run, your power bill may catch up with you in the end.
Look at your system’s features carefully
When it comes to selecting the best air conditioning unit that will allow you to ‘cut down on your system costs’ it is very important to review the features that each model has available to you.
When it comes to the split system air conditioners, it may be that the system has a sensor, which ensures when no one is in the room it adjusts the temperature to the most ‘efficient’ running temperature. In contrast, when people are in the room the system is effectively ‘climate controlling’ so not pushing out more air than is required, but adjusting the air levels to suit the situation.
In the world of fully ducted systems, most new systems come with the option to ‘zone’ areas. This is key to cutting down on your air conditioner costs, as you are able to switch off rooms or sections of your home from receiving the heating/cooling when they are not being used. This allows the condenser to not work as hard, increasing efficiency, decreasing power usage and saving you money.
How many systems should I buy?
Especially with new builds, there is often the question of ‘should I get ducted or a series of split system air conditioning units to cut down on my costs?’ There are a few hard and fast rules when it comes to this.
Firstly, you need to see your home as your future needs may require, not necessarily what they are now. So if you are looking to increase the size of your family in the future or maybe relatives visit a lot, do you want their room not to have air conditioning to keep them comfortable?
Then you need to calculate the size of your home, in many smaller urban apartments or units, 2 or 3 split system units may be perfect to cool the whole home, and you have ample space for the three condensers – or one in the case of a multi-head split system unit.
But in the case of a freestanding home, with plenty of access to the outside walls and roof you are not sure, a ducted system offers the best all round performance regarding heating/cooling your whole home – however, it is a much larger system than a simply split system. So in terms of cost of heating the whole home, you are better off with a ducted system, but if you only use small areas of the home it may be a consideration to look at a series of split systems.
In this case, it is always best to speak directly to your air conditioning experts, having them look at your house plans or coming to your home to review your specific requirements is key to having an efficient, cost saving air conditioning solution for your home.
But what if I already have a system, how can I cut down on the ongoing costs?
So far we have largely focused on installing a new system or looking at the purchasing of a system for a new home or office. But what about if you have an existing system installed, even an older one – how can you cut down on air conditioning costs?
Firstly, what are you setting your temperature at?
It is one of the worst kept secrets that you should always set your reverse cycle heating to 19 degrees in winter and 25 degrees in summer to save you thousands of dollars. At these temperatures, the systems are running at their most efficient, economical and will debunk any arguments around the thermostat about what is the best temperature to have your home running at.
It was long considered that 22 degrees was the ‘optimal’ temperature to run air conditioning systems around the world. Funnily enough, this originated from the 1950’s, at which time it was determined that this was the optimal thermal comfort level of a 44-year-old male, therefore this was what the ‘best’ temperature to run your systems at was locked away.
In the real world, we all have different comfort levels and as such, looking at the optimal running costs of your systems 25 in summer and 19 in winter will save your home or office budget a lot of money.
So you have the temperature set, but what else can you do?
In addition, if you are looking to cut down the air conditioner costs to your home or office there are some relatively straightforward but simple procedures you can undertake.
Ensure that you have a regular service to your system from a licenced, professional expert to have your system running at its optimal levels. Like your car, your A.C is a machine and requires a ‘look under the hood’ from time to time to get the best out of the system and increase the longevity of its lifetime. This will not only save you in running costs but potentially by getting a few more years out of your system!
It may sound very basic, but ensuring that you are only cooling/heating the areas you are using – be it by using the ducted heated zoning functions – or simply by closing doors to the rooms you are not using. This may be basic but it is amazing how much this doesn’t happen.
Also, drawing the curtains or blinds to block the sun out during the heat of the day or the cold in during the winter nights will decrease how hard your air conditioner needs to work to heat or cool the same space. This essentially ‘assists’ the air conditioner, so it’s important to help it so it helps you.
There are a range of ways that you can cut down the AC costs in your home or office, it starts from the installation of the right solution for your property, regular maintenance, running temperatures then, of course, some common sense in only using what you need, closing a few doors and closing the blinds.
The best step is to speak with your Rite Price Heating & Cooling experts today to get the best price on the right solution for your home, ensuring you are cutting down on your air conditioning costs for the long term. Small changes can make a big difference, and if you’re looking to save thousands over the life of your air conditioning unit, we can provide simple steps for energy efficiency and affordability.
Visit our family owned and operated showroom in Adelaide or visit our website to arrange an onsite quotation so you can find out the best option for your air conditioning needs.
We offer an obligation-free quotation service all across Adelaide and would love to add you to our list of happy customers.