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How much energy does my air conditioner use?

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Is there any better feeling than switching on the AC to beat the summer heat? We can’t imagine enjoying this time of year on Sydney’s Northern Beaches without air conditioning, but do you know what it costs to use your air conditioner, or have you ever had a shock when paying your electricity bill?

It’s best to know the operating costs for all home appliances, including the AC. According to the Australian Government, heating and cooling use the largest amount of energy — around 40% of total usage! — in the average Aussie home.

Let’s talk dollars and cents

The actual energy cost for your air conditioner will depend on things including what type of air con you have, the space you’re cooling, what temperature the AC is set to, how long you use it for, and more.

According to Canstar, an average Sydney home with a split system could cost between $23 and $300 a year to cool. If you have a ducted whole-house reverse cycle AC, you can expect that energy cost to rise to up to $817 a year.

Calculate your cost

Use the simple formula below to calculate your air conditioner’s operating costs. You’ll need to know the wattage (kW) of the unit, the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) and how much your electricity provider charges per hour. If you have an older air conditioner you may not have an EER; you can still use the formula without it.

kW/EER x price per hour = cost to run per hour (price/ kWh)

Once you have this calculation you can work out the cost to run the unit per day, month and year.

7 ways to save money with your air conditioner

1. Choose an energy efficient air conditioner with a high star rating. As with any home appliance, avoid low star ratings that will increase your energy consumption and bills.

2. Keep it clean! Make sure you’re cleaning your AC regularly to ensure it is operating efficiently. Follow our guide to learn how to clean your air conditioner’s filter.

3. Close doors, windows and blinds or curtains to efficiently cool a room and avoid overworking the AC unit.

4. Pay attention to peak and off-peak usage with your electricity provider. If it’s a Saturday afternoon in summer and the BOM is predicting 36°C for Sydney’s Northern Beaches, you may pay more to use your AC than if you switched it on later in the evening.

5. Keep the AC set between 22°C and 24°C for best energy efficiency — every degree cooler will cost you more on your energy bill.

6. Go solar. While it’s not an option for every household, think about whether you can install solar panels to offset your energy usage (anywhere from 30% to 70% on average).  Read more about solar energy on the NSW Government website and check if you’re eligible for any federal rebates.

7. If you have a commercial set up such as retail, food outlet or even residential storage and need temperature control set up then strip doors are the ideal solution for keeping heating and cooling costs under control.

It makes sense and cents to replace it

If your air conditioner has seen better days and your monthly electricity bill induces an anxiety attack, it might be time to consider installing a new AC.

While it may be tempting to consider a portable air conditioner to replace an older unit on its way out and you may save on installation costs, they are not cost effective to run and do not efficiently cool large rooms.

Get in touch with us today for a free quote and the expert team at Climate Care Air Conditioning Services will help you determine what sort of air conditioner is best for you.