How can I save money on my air conditioning?
An air conditioning unit is one of the biggest consumers of energy in your home, which is why it's so important to make sure you use yours in the most efficient way possible.
It can be all too tempting to switch it on and forget about it, but with electricity prices on the rise, this might not be the wisest move if you're keeping an eye on your finances.
Follow these top tips and you should be able to prevent your air conditioning from putting a bite in your budget when summer comes around.
Choose the right sized system
Any air conditioning unit retailer will be able to give you an idea of the size of system you need to install in your chosen room.
If the unit is too big for the room then it'll consume more energy than is absolutely necessary, whereas if it's too small it might not have the cooling effect you had hoped for.
Taking the dimensions of your room along to the store with you is a good idea, otherwise make sure you have a general idea of the size of the space you are dealing with.
Look for top-rated products
Some air conditioners are more efficient than others, so it pays to do your research before you make any final decision.
The good news is that all residential products sold here in Australia have been required to carry an energy label since 1987 and meet Minimum Energy Performance Standards since 2004.
This should make it easier for you to identify the most efficient models on the market, helping to take some of the guesswork out of choosing the best product for your home.
Once your air conditioning unit has been installed, it's essential you carry out regular maintenance.
There are some steps you should be able to carry out yourself - such as cleaning the air filter - but it's also worth getting an expert in to perform an annual check-up.
They will be able to make sure all the components are in full working order and make any changes as necessary, ensuring your unit isn't working harder than it needs to in order to keep you cool.
Invest in a fan
While air conditioning is one of the most effective ways of bringing down the temperature of a room, there are methods you can use to ensure it has even more of an impact.
A fan will help distribute the cool air effectively without having to reduce the reading on your thermostat.
They can also prove a good alternative when it's warm in your home, but perhaps not hot enough to warrant switching on your air conditioning unit.
Carefully position your thermostat
If you have your air conditioning unit set so it will only come on when the temperature drops below a certain level, it's important you don't have other heat-emitting appliances close by.
Televisions and computers are two of the biggest heat producers and they could trick your air conditioning unit into thinking it needs to come on when in reality it doesn't.
Keep them well clear and your system will be in with the best possible chance of only springing into action when it's needed most.
Switch off in empty rooms
When a room is unoccupied, make sure you switch off the air conditioning unit, otherwise it'll be cooling the space with nobody there to appreciate it.
It's also a good idea to keep doors and windows closed when your system is in operation, as this will make sure none of the cool air is able to escape, causing your unit to work overtime.
Posted by Jeremy Elliott