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Keeping our homes at a comfortable temperature is of chief concern to most homeowners and families out there, and when the going gets rough (and hot), we turn to our air conditioners. However, these machines lose efficiency after a while; they start costing more money and need to be replaced. If you are looking to purchase a new air conditioning unit for your home, you may be tempted to check the price tag and little else. One of your main concerns when comparing air conditioning units should be energy efficiency, because the more energy efficient an air conditioning unit is, the less money you are likely to spend on your power bill in the long run.

Minimum Energy Performance Standards

Residents of Australia are lucky enough to have Minimum Energy Performance Standards for many products, including air conditioning units. Since the turn of the century, many different manufactured products sold in Australia have needed to meet these minimum standards in order to be sold. This means that a customer can know outright that the air conditioner they’re buying in Australia must meet certain energy efficient standards that have been in place since 1999.

Not All Air Conditioners Are Created Equal

Australia has adopted The Energy Star Program, which lets customers know the level of efficiency that certain products have. The Energy Star Program was started in the United States in 1992, by the Environmental Protection Agency. The program was built to promote the manufacture and purchase of energy efficient products that use less energy and meet strict energy efficient standards. When shopping for your new air conditioning unit, look out for products labelled with the Energy Star—the label means they have met stringent standards for efficiency and will save you money on your power bill.

Going One Step Further

Once you have your new energy efficient air conditioning unit picked out, there are many different ways you can increase the energy efficiency of your machine. It starts at installation—ensure that the unit is installed in an area shaded from the sun, that it has perfectly running internal mechanisms, and that the entire unit is level. Have the unit installed away from large electrical appliances that can give off heat; if you set your air conditioner to a thermostat, the heat from these appliances could trigger the air conditioner to turn on unnecessarily.

Once the unit is installed, remember to turn it off when you are out of the house for long periods of time. Whether you’re running errands, working at the office, or going on a long holiday, you are wasting energy any time you’re cooling down an empty house. You should also be sure to keep the maintainable parts of the unit clean—dirty, broken filters reduce air flow through the machine and make them less efficient. Ensure all air ducts are insulated and are free from holes that could mess with the overall workings of the unit.

It doesn’t take much to have a more energy efficient home, particularly when it comes to air conditioning units. The more energy efficient your appliances are, the more likely they are to save you money in the long run.