Air conditioning tips to save money and energy

air conditioning tips to save money

Ladies. We need to talk about air-conditioning. It seems that despite being the land of the air-conditioned home, we Aussies –especially we Aussie chicks – suck at running our air-cons efficiently. If you’re sitting there with a cold, queasy feeling in your tummy, don’t close this window – read on for some expert air conditioning tips that will save both money and our limited resources.

Hot in the city

It’s hot, I know. Dangerously, ridiculously so. In fact, last year was  Australia’s hottest year since recordings began in 1910, and so far this millennium is off the charts. I am not here to tell you to throw out your air-conditioning unit and sweat it out. Instead, I want to share some knowledge that will help you reduce the impact of cooling your home.

Why is this important? For one, air-conditioners are one of the three most energy-sucking appliances in the home (after fridges and electric hot water systems). Secondly, as the heatwave in southern Australia proved, we simply don’t have the resources to cope with wasteful use. Thousands of residents faced power outages during the heatwave because the grid simply couldn’t cope.

The final reason to use your air-conditioning wisely is to save money. During summer, your air-con could be contributing up to 60 percent of your energy costs. That’s a lot of dosh.

How not to use air conditioning

Electronics company LG has just released the results of its LG Air-Conditioning Survey and the results are pretty disturbing.

  • Most people have no idea how much cooling their home contributes to their power bill.
  • Only a third of users clean their air-con’s filter once a year for maximum efficiency.
  • 49% of survey respondents leave their air-con on for one to four hours per day over the summer, but women are twice as likely as men to leave the air-con on for more than eight hours a day over summer.
  • Women are also twice as likely as men to leave the air-con on when they leave the house; more than half say they do this because they want the house to be cool when they get home and 29% leave it on because they think it uses less electricity than putting it on a high setting when they get home.

Air conditioning tips

To ensure you are getting the most out of your air-conditioner with the least impact, consider the following  air conditioning tips to save money and energy:

  • Maintain a room temperature of 25°C during summer. Every one degree difference adds around 10% to your air conditioning running costs.
  • Clean or replace your filter every six months. Put it in your diary! A dirty air-conditioner not only pollutes your indoor space, it means the unit has to work overtime to cool your home.
  • Don’t leave your air-con on when you go out! Even if it’s just for a short trip (better still, avoid short trips all together). Chuck it on high for 20 minutes or so if you must, or consider a remote-controlled unit when you upgrade (see below).
  • Avoid placing other heat emitting home appliances near your air-conditioner. It causes your unit to work even harder to cool the air around it, increasing its energy output.
  • Shade your windows in summer with curtains, awnings, or shutters to reduce heat absorption. By keeping your house cooler your air-conditioner has less work to do.

Choosing a new air-con unit

According to the LG survey, more than 60% of units were more than five years old, which means they are likely to be less efficient than current models. If you’re in the market for a new air-conditioning unit:

  • Choose an inverter-based model.
  • Go for the unit with the highest energy rating you can afford.
  • Consider your usage – if you simply must come home to a cool house, choose a model like the LG 2013 R Series Split System Air Conditioner that you can control from your mobile phone.

Do you ever leave the air-conditioning on when you go out?




  1. Kirsten McCulloch says

    Hey Jo, thanks for these tips. We have evaporative cooling, but we also have an old, old air conditioner in my office (converted garage) which predates out time in the house (ie it’s at least 12 years old). I’ve never needed to use it much before this summer, but this year it is getting a workout. So thanks for the tips, especially about cleaning the filter. On the task list for this weekend!
    Kirsten McCulloch recently posted..One Cloth to Clean it All (Well, Almost) – Announcement & Giveaways!My Profile

    • (dt)em says

      Thanks Kirsten, when we moved into our house, we decided the 1970s aircon was probably a recipe for Legionnaires disease and never turned it on! You might want to get it checked out :)

  2. heating system repair NJ says

    Make sure fireplaces have tight-fitting dampers, which can be closed when the fireplace is not in use. Invest in a humidifier to conserve energy in winter. The air in your home won’t be as dry, so you stay comfortable at a lower temperature setting.

  3. jhon leo says

    Good points! I’ve simply just transferred in to a high-rise apartment that’s air con for initially & regardless of this like a relatively completely new, inverter fashion type I’m therefore hesitant to be able to wear it mainly because I don’t want to utilize it needlessly! twenty-five diplomas is usually our establishing of preference also – a person don’t require it chilly than in which!
    jhon leo recently posted..Readers choice winner from 2006-2013My Profile

  4. Florentino @ Termite Control says

    Thanks for this Jo. I’m quite guilty using air-con nonstop but it really is hot especially in the afternoon. I didn’t know that the older my unit gets the more inefficient it becomes. I’ve repaired mine for two times already and I do think it’s time I buy something like LG 2013. I’m saving this on my pocket.

  5. Air Conditioning NJ says

    Air conditioners need yearly maintenance to maintain proper performance. With the proper maintenance your air conditioning and heating equipment will work more economically and be more dependable for years to come.

  6. Air Conditioning Cedar Grove NJ says

    Air conditioning efficiency aside from it’s electrical components is based on the coil area around the unit. The larger the area, the more air that can pass over the coils thus assisting the superheat process. Since you can’t increase the coil area, keep it clean for top performance.

    • Refrigeration Cedar Grove NJ says

      Air conditioning efficiency aside from it’s electrical components is based on the coil area around the unit. The larger the area, the more air that can pass over the coils thus assisting the superheat process. Since you can’t increase the coil area, keep it clean for top performance.

    • Refrigeration NJ says

      Cleaning a standalone air conditioner filter is not a tough process, but does require some work in order to disinfect the filter. This article will detail how to clean an air conditioner filter the right way so that there is no decrease in efficiency and spread of allergens.

  7. jack white says

    Sadly I leave my AC on all the time when i go out. It shouldn’t be an issue for me because I have the feature that allows me to set times. I really should stop leaving it on and start saving money. I’m horrible at saving money when I can.

  8. bryan flake says

    That is intense that every one degree adds ten percent to your power bill. This sort of makes me glad that I live in an apartment complex that has a set air conditioning system. I am not able to manipulate it beyond a ten degree range. I like this way because my power bill won’t be astronomical.

  9. John Anderson says

    I think that having a well working air conditioner is a great thing to have. I find it amazing that people would not change the air conditioner’s filter. It seems that a lot of problems can be fixed by simple solutions.

  10. Jenny Gygi says

    I really liked your air conditioning tips! I just recently had my air conditioning unit repaired, and I want to make sure that I don’t do anything else to damage it! One of your tips I’m going to make sure to follow is to replace my air conditioning unit’s filter every six months. I wasn’t aware that I should be cleaning or replacing the filter so frequently! I’ll make sure that I do that from now on! Thank you for the advice!

  11. Maglepie Grits says

    I agree that you should avoid putting heating appliances right next to your air conditioner. This can sometimes be difficult to avoid when you live with someone who is more sensitive to the cold. I would rather go into another room with the space heater so that the two units are near each other.

  12. Cindy Hoffman says

    I used to be that careless girl who leaves the air conditioner on when leaving the house. One day when I sat down and reflected on how much I could be losing on electricity bills, I started watching how I used my appliances and I have really saved a lot. I must say that I have also grasped something new from your article which will help me cut down the bills further. Thanks for sharing.


  13. Kayla Rogers says

    It is interesting that different air conditioning units are more suited for different usages. For example, having a split system air conditioner would be nice for the liberty it affords users who need to have control from wherever they are. In fact, that sounds pretty good to me to be able to turn my air conditioning unit on or off from my mobile phone!

  14. Brendan Bordin says

    We should arrange schedule maintenance to avoid air conditioner repair which will end up potential issues there and then before they become a big problem for us.

    There are certain basic things can really keep you away from air conditioner repair such as changing the air filter timely, don’t ignoring the strange sound.

  15. Petunia Evans says

    I never knew that I should turn off the air conditioning when I leave, but I’m glad I know to do so now. I’ll be sure now to buy some shades as well to keep from the sun heating up my apartment as well. I can’t wait to use these tips this summer and start saving money! Thank you.

  16. Michael G. says

    Great tips! i learned a lot. I think i need to change my air-con unit to a new one and a inverter based model they consume less energy, and they can keep functioning in very low temp. if you use your air conditioner for 8 hours per day, you will save the extra cost in just a few months, and surely before 1st year.

  17. Ecoen says


    its an very nice share..
    This is the perfect guide for the beginners who are really going to buy the air condition…Yes,, I agree with your each word in the blog…
    Air conditioning unit helps to cool one large room or area of the house at a time, without spending the energy to cool rooms that are not in use.
    Also air conditioners are built for high efficiency and are optimized for using less energy.

    Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas…

  18. Dean PHC says

    Heating and air conditioning your home account for almost half of home’s energy use, These are definitely useful tips shared at the end of this article about power consumption. It will help a lot to readers to to slash your summer energy bills without sacrificing too much comfort. Thanks for sharing these information…

  19. Silas Knight says

    Thanks for the tips for using an air conditioner. I had no idea that one degree adds 10% to the running costs! I will have to set our unit a little higher so I can save some more money.

  20. Abélia says

    I appreciate these air conditioning tips to save money and energy. It’s interesting that women are twice as likely to leave the AC on for more than 8 hours a day. It’s true that using the air conditioning for that long adds quite a bit to the power bill. I’ll re-think the usage of my unit everyday. Thanks!

  21. Trenton says

    Choosing a new AC unit can be a difficult task but do plenty of research to make sure you are getting the right system for your home and needs. Another thing that a lot of people forget to check is how insulated their home is. My previous home had older windows and I was spending extra money on my electric bill each month because they were not insulated well.

  22. Ryan says

    These are great advice for saving money on air conditioning! I know most people doing think about changing out the filter more than once a year but Its very important to make sure the air filter gets change at least twice a year to help with maximum efficiency. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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