Warm to the right air conditioner

September 2012

Sydney’s warmest start to spring in 24 years might be the trigger for households to buy a new air conditioner but it’s essential to choose the right one for your home.

Ausgrid’s Energy Efficiency Expert Paul Myors said around 50,000 NSW households are expected to install their first air conditioner over the next year, but the size of the air conditioner and the area it is supposed to cool are the keys to keeping running costs down. 

Air conditioners that are either too big or too small can add more than $250 to your annual energy bill so it’s important to choose an efficient model that suits your budget and needs.

As a rough guide, multiply the number of square metres you want to cool by 125Watts and compare this to the air conditioner’s output.

The most popular and affordable models are wall-mounted reverse cycle units, which can also be used to keep you warm in winter. They can cost up to 70 cents to run per hour and can add more than $150 to your summer energy bill.

Try to choose an air conditioner with a high star rating. Each extra star will reduce running costs by around 10% per year.

The easiest way to save money is to set the right temperature. Each degree of cooling can add 10% to your running costs. So set it between 23 and 26 degrees and close doors and windows to keep the cool air in.

For more tips check out Ausgrid’s summer cooling guide.