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In Australia, when the cold winter months are gone and the warmer summer months arrive, specific changes have to be made in the home. One such change is when Aussies fall back on using their trusted air conditioners to create a more comfortable environment.
With more individuals opting to work from home, there is an increasing need to use air conditioners for more extended periods during the day. Unfortunately, with extended usage, you can expect the cost of energy bills to increase.
This article shows you the range of different household cooling options that can help you save hundreds of dollars in your energy bills over the year. Read on.
Correlation Between AC And Energy Bills
Many people are unaware of a positive correlation between air conditioning and energy bills. With the continued use of your air conditioner, there would be an increase in your energy bills as well. Do not let it surprise you that in most homes in Australia, cooling and heating account for about 40% of household energy use.
So just before you start cranking up the air cons in your home or office to fight the summer heat, instead find time to learn easy ways to stay cool without increasing your electricity bill. Here are a few examples:
Reduce the amount of space you are trying to cool
One of the easiest and most effective means to maintain a comfortable temperature while reducing your energy use simultaneously is to reduce the amount of space your air con is trying to cool. With less space for your air conditioner to cool, less energy and time would be needed for the cooling process.
It would be best if you only cooled the necessary spaces; you can effectively do this by closing any open door. You should also try blocking off any entrance ways that may serve as escape routes for the cold air from the air conditioner. Doing this is particularly important if you plan to cool only the downstairs or upstairs area within a storey building.
Reduce the light
If you have stayed in Australia for any length of time, you will know that Aussies love the sun. Whether for the Vitamin D boost or for the warmth that permeates their skin, they seek to soak up large doses of warmth from the sun. However, when large amounts of heat are transferred into your home, it can create quite an uncomfortable environment.
You should try to keep your blinds, curtains, or shutters closed wherever possible. Doing this should help maintain a preferred coolness, and the few extra degrees you can keep off will mean less work for your air conditioner. The benefits can be better felt during the warmer periods of the day.
Make use of timers
In most ducted and split systems, a timer feature is made available, which can be very useful for controlling how you turn your unit on and off. You can set it to turn on when needed but remember to activate the sleep timer before bed. This is required to stop your unit from running all night.
Maintain a constant and reasonable temperature
If you set your air conditioning system to an extremely low temperature, it will have to work harder and spend longer to reach the set temperature. In the process, a lot of energy will be used.
If you use the cooling mode in summer, it is recommended that you set the temperature to between 22 degrees Celsius and 24 degrees Celsius. You should also avoid altering this during operation to ensure everyone is comfortable and the unit is not overworking.
Check the filters
If the filter in your split or ducted air conditioner gets dirty, your unit will be forced to overwork. It will expend more energy to get in sufficient air than it usually would. Cleaning the filters makes the unit run as efficiently as possible. You can use the user manual to guide you on locating the filters and cleaning them up.
Ensure your unit is serviced regularly
One of the other good ways to reduce air conditioning costs is by servicing your air con system regularly. A qualified technician should be able to inspect all the internal components, gas levels, and other things necessary to ensure the air conditioning unit works optimally during summer.
Engage features on your unit to reduce energy output
With most reverse-cycle units, there are features you can use to heat and cool your home efficiently. Some of these features include timers, zoning and human sensors. When you switch off unused zones with your ducted unit, the energy consumption can be lowered considerably.
You can set your timer to start the air conditioner before the temperature outside gets to its peak. For instance, if you turn on your air conditioner during the hottest period of the day. It will work harder and increase energy usage before it can cool your home.
Change over your old unit
If you continue to run an old ducted unit, the drain on your energy bills can gradually add up. In simple terms, older units need to work harder before they can heat or cool your home since they were built using older technology which is less efficient than new ones. If you replace your air conditioner with a newer, high-efficiency one, your running costs will significantly reduce.
Incorporate your plan into the new building
When planning to build, having an innovative house design is essential. You should consider energy-efficient requirements that will help you keep energy usage down. For example, large glass windows can add to the heat load, calling for higher air conditioning power.
Plain silver galvanised iron roofing sheets can reflect heat from the sun more than those with darker colours which absorb heat. If there is a space on your roof, you can create ventilation to reduce the heat buildup on the rooftop. With enough space, you can create a veranda or eaves to reduce the heat loads by preventing direct sunlight.
Lower Air Conditioning Costs With Smart Choices
The smart choices you make in your home can also help reduce air conditioning costs. Identifying how to reduce air conditioning while maintaining a cool temperature simultaneously can help you reduce energy costs. You can use the following ideas to achieve this effectively:
- Efficient heating and cooling using reverse cycle air conditioners can be achieved by keeping your doors and windows closed during the day. If you use evaporative coolers, ensure adequate ventilation to give room for airflow. By leaving the windows and doors open, these systems will be able to operate more effectively.
- During winter, you can use the sun's natural heating system by drawing open the curtains and closing them at night to conserve warmth. During summer, the curtains should be used to prevent the direct impact of sunlight while leaving the windows open at night as long as the temperature outside is cooler.
- Make sure to have the house properly insulated. If the old insulation has flattened from age and use, it will not serve much use for insulation, so you should consider replacing it.
- Appliances that are not needed should be turned off; otherwise, this can cause an increase in the heat load. This, in turn, can cause your air conditioner to overwork.
Using portable fans or ceiling fans can serve for cooling or heating your home. This will reduce your use of air conditioners and reduce your energy bills.
Let a Professional Advice You
If you have tried some or all of these tricks and do not see any considerable difference in your energy consumption, that could tell you it is time to call on a professional HVAC. With a few more adjustments, it should be easy to reduce your energy costs considerably.
However, this may come only after an expert thoroughly checks your air conditioning system. You may also be advised on other high-energy-consuming appliances in your home, but your air conditioning costs should be reduced overall.