A recent survey has found that many Australian households have reduced their air-con use to reduce their electricity bills. Furthermore, they view their air-con as both essential and probably the most significant contributor to their energy bill. Well, perhaps surprisingly, this isn’t necessarily the case. The same survey also found that ‘energy efficiency’ was also the deciding factor for many households when buying a new, more efficient air conditioner. So, how much does it really cost to run air-con? Let’s have a look.
What’s the Cost to Run an Air Conditioner for Cooling?
The average cost per hour to run an efficient air conditioner ranges from 0.25c to 0.95c per hour, depending on the room’s size. For instance, a medium-sized room of around 36sqm costs between 0.35 to 0.75c/per hour. Also, a large space of 50sqm will add up to between 0.70 to 0.95c/per hour. However, a whole-house ducted air conditioning system is the big money pit. These systems can chow down power at between $2.45 and $3.45/hour.
What About AC for Heating?
In general, it costs between 0.13c and 0.36c per hour to keep a room warm using an efficient air conditioner. In comparison, an electric radiant heater costs about 0.36c per hour and an electric panel heater around 0.43c per hour. However, neither of these will perform well in a larger room. Also, a gas heater will consume between 0.36c and 0.45c per hour.
How Do I Minimise My Air Conditioning Running Costs?
Per hour, the costs shown aren’t too bad, but they do add up. If you run your air conditioner for 4 hours per day during summer, you can expect your bill to increase by several hundred dollars. Fortunately, there are quite a few steps you can take to keep your running costs down:
- Keep room temperatures consistent – close windows and doors
- Use shade – consider closing curtains or installing window awnings
- Ensure your air conditioner is well maintained
- Insulate your home – loft insulation
- Consider other complementary cooling methods, such as ceiling fans
- Make sure you have the best value electricity supplier – Electricity Supplier Comparisons
- Consider installing Solar Power