Ring in the New Year with a new air conditioner
With summer well and truly here, you might be tempted to upgrade your air conditioner in the new year.
Air conditioners are a necessity in many parts of Australia - particularly away from coastal areas - and now there are more ways to beat the heat than ever before.
But what about the impact your air conditioner has on your electricity bill and your carbon emissions? It is important to choose products carefully - and to look to the future.
You'll want a product that can stand the test of time and won't put a strain on your power bills - so the easiest way to begin is to check the energy rating label on your appliance.
The government's Energy Rating scheme suggests that a good first step is to evaluate whether or not you need an air conditioner at all.
There are a number of ways to keep your home a comfortable temperature during a long, hot summer and you'll want to investigate these thoroughly before you rush out and buy a new appliance.
Keeping your curtains closed, draught-proofing doors and windows and topping up your insulation are all ways to keep hot air from entering your home, while portable electric fans may be enough to provide a welcome breeze.
But if you decide that even with all these preventative measures, you still would like to invest in a new appliance, it is important to remember that size matters.
Sizing an air conditioning unit is a job that is best undertaken by a professional - but the initial expense could be well worth it for an air conditioner that suits your property perfectly.
Once you know what size of air conditioner you need, the next step is to check the star rating on the energy information label.
Not all air conditioning units are required to have an energy label - portable models are exempt, for example - but when this information is available, it can help you make an informed decision.
Of course, upgrading to a more efficient appliance is not always possible - but there still may be an opportunity to save money on your electricity bills by simply switching providers.
It may be a good idea to contact a switching service in your area - the support team can evaluate the available electricity prices in your area and help determine whether you are on a tariff that suits your household's needs.
Posted by Charlie Moore