The summer months in Australia are hot, steamy, and uncomfortable. Many residents choose to have air conditioning systems to make their homes comfortable, but it comes with a cost. It’s important to understand that you can enjoy a good level of comfort by running your ducted air conditioning while saving on energy costs and consumption.
Consider the Costs
It’s important to know how to lower your costs. You can start by calculating the costs of running a ducted air con system. The Energy Star label should have information about the system and its energy efficiency. You can also check the documentation that comes with the unit to learn more about it. There should be data related to its power input (the amount of energy used to operate the system), measured in kilowatts. You can calculate your system’s running costs by taking the power input number and multiply it the kWh (kilowatt hour) data cost found on your last electricity bill. That will provide you with a calculation of how much it costs to run a ducted system.
What if the power input is not listed on your paperwork? Check for the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) and cooling capacity numbers to calculate your costs. Divide the EER by the proper cooling capacity to find the power input number. You can then take the cooling capacity number and multiply it by your power input number to learn the cost per hour.
Tips for Saving on Costs
If you feel you could conserve energy and save money on your current costs, here are some tips to help you reduce your system’s operating costs.
- Choose the right size system – The right size will provide you with ample cooling and comfort without overwhelming the system.
- Install quality insulation – Proper home insulation will help prevent your system from being overworked and will save you money.
- Don’t wait until it’s too hot – Instead of waiting for your house to become hot, turn on the air con when it’s cooler outside. This reduces the work the system has to do in order to bring the temperature to a comfortable level.
- Close your curtains – Windows transfer heat into your home. By closing your curtains you are preventing high levels of heat transfer therefore reducing the temperature fluctuations related to heat transfer.
- Utilise your solar power – Don’t wait until night time, turn your ducted system on in the day so you utilise your solar power, once the sun goes down you’re paying for the power to run it.
You may also consider turning your thermostat up a couple of degrees which can reduce your system’s running costs by 20 to 30 percent. For instance, instead of running it at 23 degrees, turn it up to 24 and leave it there. Avoid changing the thermostat as that will increase your energy consumption and cost you more money.
If you don’t have a need for to keep your whole house cool all the time, consider how you utilise the zone system. It might be worth the slight extra cost in putting in a multi-zone controller so that you run less opposed to the basic only day/night zones. Ask air conditioning experts about the various types of systems to learn which one will work best for your needs. Also consider the costs of installation and the system itself before choosing one. Using the right type and size air con will help you cut energy costs as well as aid in energy conservation. You can still be comfortable without the high expense.