Australian summers are notorious for their intensity; so much so cooking in the kitchen can seem like a nightmare. As tempting as it is to keep the air conditioner running 24/7 to beat the heat, this isn’t a very realistic option. You need to pace your air conditioner to make sure the electricity bill stays as low as possible.
However, even if you are running it for a few hours every day, you will find that your bill would still be sky-high. There are several factors that can lead to increased electricity bill, such hidden electricity waste (vampire appliances), inefficient appliance decisions, misused lights and fans, using appliances at peak hours, and more.
In this article, we will look at some non-traditional ways to reduce your electric bills this summer; particularly for air conditioning.
Block Out The Sun
It might seem counterproductive, but shutting your windows can actually help you regulate your home’s temperature better. Australian planes are known for their hot, humid air that basically turn your house into a large kiln. When the hot air enters your house, it rises up while the cold wind blows right out.
Standing in front of the window, you might feel like the blowing wind is colder and will cool down your house, but it is having the opposite effect in reality. When you finally turn your air conditioner on, it will have to work harder and hence, increase your electricity bill.
However, closing your windows isn’t all you need to do. You need shade. Either by planting a tree outside or with the help of curtains or blinds, you need to block out the sun’s UV rays.
Try to use light-coloured blinds and windows so that most of the light gets reflected instead of being absorbed by your window. Since the hot air and UV rays are kept outside, you won’t have to keep the air conditioner running the whole day. In fact, you will see marked differences on how long your home remains cool during the day with this little practice!
Plug Out Appliances
When possible, we recommend turning off and plugging out heat-emitting appliances. This doesn’t just include your water heater or the kitchen stove, but your television, computer, printer, and lamps as well. These household essentials seems pretty harmless, but they create a lot of residual heat, which turns into background heat pretty quickie. By unplugging them, you will not only eliminate heat sources but will also be reducing electricity consumption in the process.
Checking Your Air Conditioner
There are several key elements that you need to consider with your air conditioner as well when looking to reduce electricity bill this summer.
Keep Your Ducts Clean
Once sure-fire way of reducing your air conditioning bill over the summer to make sure your AC’s filters and ducts are cleaned out regularly. As a rule of thumb, keep cleaning the filter once every month and the ducts once every three months.
From dust all the way to spider webs or some animal making themselves at home; there are a plethora of possibilities that may lead to these ducts getting clogged. If your AC is making too much noise or the bill simply keeps on increasing without you increasing usage, know that there might be something stuck in your ducts or filter.
Dirty filters mean that your AC unit will have to work harder; particularly its blower. Not only does this increase the electricity consumed but also increases the risk of blower failure.
Check Air Conditioner Efficiency
Air conditioners that are EnergyStar rated are usually more efficient than those that aren’t. You may also need to consider the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of a unit before purchasing it. While there is no magic SEER that you should go for, anything above 13 is going to help you reduce your bill significantly.
Carrier ACs are known for their high SEER rating and overall efficiency, but Mitsubishi, Goodman, and others aren’t far behind, either. The goal is to find an air conditioner that uses less electricity to cool down your home; something that SEER helps you understand much better.
One of the biggest factors to consider, regardless of the SEER rating, is proper installation of an AC unit. Even the most efficient AC units will need to work much harder if they aren’t installed properly with all the guidelines in mind. You need professionals to help you install your AC the right way, otherwise you risk unit failure as well as increased bills.