Our homes devote a significant portion of their energy usage to heating and cooling. In fact, a third to half of all home energy is used for heating or cooling.
So, in the heat of summer, how can you cool your house yet save energy and save money on your energy bill? Is it better to use a fan or an air conditioner? We’ve got some answers that might help.
Fan vs air conditioner
Chances are you either use a fan or air conditioner to cool your home in summer. But have you ever wondered which is more energy efficient?
In fact, the best way is to use them in tandem – but sparingly.
How much energy does each cooling method consume?
Typically, evaporative cooling costs less to run than refrigerative cooling. Fans are good for personal cooling and are cheap to run.
A fan costs from $8 to $15 per year to run. At the other end, a ducted reverse-cycle cooling system costs from $75 to $120 per year.
So, giving your air conditioner a break and using ceiling or portable fans could save you a significant amount of money.
Are air conditioners bad for the environment?
Not necessarily. Modern, well-maintained air conditioners can be energy efficient. Check the Energy Rating Label to compare them.
Air conditioners do typically use more energy than fans, so to save energy only turn on the aircon when you really need it.
It also matters how you use your air conditioner: keep the thermostat set between 23°C and 26°C, because every degree below 23°C could add 10 per cent to your cooling costs.
Is it better to only cool the room that I'm using?
Short answer: yes. It will cost less and be more effective to cool only the room or rooms that you are using on a hot day. Keep the rest of the house shut up and close doors, windows, blinds and curtains to keep out the heat as much as possible.
What other ways can I save money on my bills during the summer months?
Prepare for a hot day by shutting up the house early on, using fans until you really need the aircon, and opening up the house at night when it cools down to catch the natural breeze.
Draping a wet sheet over an open doorway or window is a natural air conditioner.
Also pay attention to insulation, draughts and passive heating/cooling, and make sure your windows are protected inside and out (for example, by awnings and blinds).
Maintenance is also crucial. At AGL, we recommend an annual service for most air conditioners to make sure they’re running efficiently.
For more energy saving tips visit our website here or share your tips below!