run air conditioner economically

6 Ways to Run Your Air Conditioner Economically Over Summer

Hands up those of us who rely on our air conditioner during the hot Aussie summer? That’s most of us? Thought so.

Though it’s definitely a time to enjoy the sunshine and hot weather, you certainly don’t want the increased air con usage to significantly affect your energy bills. Whether you have a split system air conditioner, a portable air conditioner or even a ducted system, knowing how to run it economically is crucial. We’re going to help you out with that!

Though the summer season might officially be over, it’s important to be able to keep your home cool even as the warm air lingers. So let’s look at six ways to get the most out of air conditioners in the most cost-effective way.

From proper and thorough air con maintenance, to taking advantage of natural ventilation, this great range of tips will enable you to enjoy cool air and stay comfortable while also saving money.

1. Regular and Effective Maintenance

Regular and effective system maintenance is vital to keeping air conditioners running economically. For example, in a split system, both the air filters and the external unit can see dirt, dust, and other debris accumulate over time. This can reduce the system’s airflow and cooling capacity, and ultimately force your air conditioner to work harder. That extra effort from your aircon can result in:

  • Greater energy consumption
  • Increased electricity bills, and
  • Premature system breakdowns

The best way to keep these issues to a bare minimum is to ensure you regularly clean or replace your air filters. It’s also worth periodically cleaning out any debris that may build up in the outdoor unit.

illustration of split system air conditioner indoor unit

It may also benefit you to schedule in an annual maintenance check with a licensed air conditioning technician. Yearly services can help to detect and diagnose any possible issues before they blow out into major (and costly) problems. These steps will enable you to maintain an economically-friendly air conditioner, without needing to compromise on comfort.

2. Use a Programmable Thermostat

One of the most effective ways to manage the temperature inside your home is with the use of a programmable thermostat. It enables you to schedule different temperature settings for different times of the day.

For example, you might set the thermostat to a more comfortable temperature that you can enjoy while you’re at home. But when the house is unoccupied, say in the middle of a work day, or even when you’re asleep at night, you might set the thermostat to a slightly higher temperature.

The Australian Government’s energy website suggests that every degree higher that you set your thermostat to, can potentially save you between 5 and 10 percent on your energy bills.

On top of this, a programmable thermostat provides the added convenience of not having to remember to manually adjust the temperature every time you leave the house or go to bed. It simply does the job for you!

3. Add Ceiling Fans to Your Home

Consider installing ceiling fans as a way to take the load off the air conditioning in your home once in a while. A ceiling fan can be a highly effective way to create a gentle, cooling breeze in a room. It’s a great way to circulate cooled air throughout the room too.

Working your ceiling fan in conjunction with your air con enables you to set your thermostat a little higher, again without compromising on comfort. At that higher setting, the air conditioner no longer needs to work as hard to cool the room as the ceiling fan takes on part of that effort. For you, this means energy bill savings, all while keeping a cool and comfortable home.

Ceiling fan on ceiling of living room.

4. Use Natural Ventilation at Home

Taking advantage of the cooler weather by opening doors or windows will allow you to rely less on your air conditioner, and save on your energy bills. Natural ventilation can be your best friend, particularly when there is a breeze in the air. It can be particularly useful for providing fresh air and regulating the indoor room temperature.

Early in the morning and late in the evening are often the best times to get the windows and doors open. You allow the air to circulate throughout your home; it not only cools the indoor temperature but can potentially improve the air quality too.

5. Install Sufficient Shading Around Your Home Too

That being said, prevent hot air from getting inside by closing any doors and windows before the heat hits. It’s also worth considering Installing shading fixtures around your home. There are plenty of options to choose from, including:

  • Blinds
  • Curtains
  • Awnings
  • External shade screens

A lack of shading fixtures makes it much easier for the sun’s rays to heat up your home. This means your air conditioner must work harder, and use more energy, to cool your home down. By installing shading, however, you can block out much of the sun’s rays, which in turn reduces the reliance on your air conditioner to cool your home.

Need to replace or upgrade your air conditioner? Choose one that offers greater energy efficiency; the energy rating label on the system is a great indicator. The best air conditioners for energy efficiency will display more stars on their label. This means that your AC will require less energy to run, which generally means cheaper energy bills over time.

It’s worth noting that energy rating labelling is voluntary on ducted air conditioning systems, unlike split systems where they are a legal requirement. While many do feature energy star rating labels, they’re not obliged to.

australian currenct

It’s also worth considering a split system air conditioner with inverter technology for a more energy efficient solution. These systems modify the speed of the compressor to match the cooling load, unlike non-inverter air conditioning split systems that merely turn the compressor on and off when needed. Inverter technology can help to minimise wastage of energy and also extend the life of your air conditioner.

Conclusion on Economical AC Units

There are numerous ways to run your air conditioner economically without compromising on indoor comfort. Something we all crave during a hot Australian summer. Follow these tips to get the most out of your air con without feeling the pinch when the energy bill arrives:

  • Clean and maintain your air conditioner effectively and regularly
  • Use a programmable thermostat
  • Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioning
  • Make the most of natural ventilation
  • Install sufficient shading around your home to keep the heat out
  • Choose energy-efficient air conditioning

These steps help you to make the most of your air conditioning system this summer and enjoy an energy-efficient home. So, whether you have a ducted system or a reverse cycle split system air conditioner, try these tips and stay cool and comfortable all summer long – without breaking the bank.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.


Published: 2023-03-09

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