When those particularly brutal heat-waves hit, you might feel as though you have two options: either spend a fortune on energy bills, or endure waking up in a sweat-soaked bed.
Fortunately, you can have your cake and eat it too. Follow these simple tips to drastically reduce your air-conditioning costs while still maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.
Keep it clean!
A dirty filter significantly reduces the efficiency of your AC unit. Once a month, give your air filter a once-over with a couple of wet wipes, and you'll allow the unit to function at full capacity.
These filters have a fairly limited life span; for the best results, switch out the filter ever 3-6 months.
Use a sleep timer
Everyone loves going to sleep in a nice, cool room; however, there is no need to blast your AC at maximum capacity all night long. Use a sleep timer, and have your unit turn off a few hours before you would wake up. You will save big on energy bills, and if you have good insulation and closed doors, you will still wake up in a comfortable room. It's a win-win!
Localise your climate
If you have a big house, keeping the whole thing cool can take a huge amount of energy. Rather, try to only cool the rooms that are being used, and keep the doors and windows closed.
Cool the living room while you're in there, and turn the bedroom AC on 30 minutes before you go to bed. This way, you'll stay comfortable, but you won't be cooling down spaces that nobody is using.
If you only have a global system, you may want to consider installing either window units or purchasing portable units for the cooling of individual rooms. While there is a slight upfront cost, you will use much less electricity in the long run.
Make sure the vents are unobstructed
Try not to have any furniture directly in front of an air vent; the chill will be largely absorbed by the furniture, and it will make the whole cooling process less efficient. Give your air-conditioning unit a direct air-flow to the middle of the room.
Service your unit regularly
While the monthly clean is certainly effective, you will occasionally want to be more thorough. Open up and take a look at the unit once every 6-12 months to see if there are any blockages or particularly dirty parts.
If you suspect that something is not quite working as it should, bring in a professional, such as Airtherm Airconditioning Pty Ltd, to give it a check-up – even the smallest malfunction can cause a drastic dip in efficiency.