Get smart on cooling to beat powerbills
Do homework to save big dollars
CHOICE says that with the cost of running air-conditioners increasing due to rising electricity prices, people can save hundreds of dollars by looking carefully at the size of the area they want to cool, the type of environment they live in and by using energy efficient cooling strategies.
CHOICE tests show large air conditioners are one of the most costly appliances to run adding approximately $530 to the yearly household electricity bill. Smaller air conditioners cost roughly $290 a year to run.
“The price of an air-conditioner coupled with increasing electricity prices make large units a big ticket item to purchase and very costly to run. However they work more efficiently if you can prevent your house from getting too hot in the first place - use shading and insulation,” says CHOICE spokesperson, Ingrid Just.
CHOICE tests have found ceiling and pedestal fans to be a much more economical option, costing between $15-$30 (per fan) a year to run. Ceiling and portable fans work best in homes that make good use of cross ventilation and have carefully planted trees and bushes to help channel breezes towards the house.
“Everyone’s circumstances are different and no two rooms are exactly the same. Think about the type of house or flat you live in, the size of the area you want to keep cool and whether you live in a dry or humid environment. These factors can influence what type of cooling option is going to be most effective,” says Ms Just.
“Doing some research could save hundreds of dollars, not just in the initial cost but also in the yearly running costs.”
CHOICE’s tips for choosing the right type of cooling option and keeping running costs to a minimum:
- Prevent your house from getting too hot - use shading, ventilation, insulation.
- Consider the size of the area you want to cool. A fan is an economical option to keep a smaller room cool for a few weeks a year. Go to CHOICE’s cooling calculator at www.choice.com.au/coolingcalculator
- Humid environments work better with split system refrigerative air-conditioners, evaporative air conditioners work better in dryer climates.
- Run the air-conditioner at 24-26 degrees. Increasing the thermostat by one degree can save 15% on running costs.
Read more about how to keep your home cool.
NB: Running costs are calculated at 26c/kWh with electricity usage derived from CHOICE product testing 2011-2012.
Ingrid Just, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson: 0430 172 669