Your air conditioner energy bills can get very costly in this humid weather, but boy is it tough to not have your air conditioning switched on. What if we tell you that you can lower your air conditioner bills without turning it off? Yes, of course you can.
1. Diminish Direct Sources of Sunlight
The bright and airy looks at home look great in photos but when it comes to living in one, it may prove to be warm when temperature soars.
If the sun is coming directly through the windows, your air conditioner will be working overtime to cool the house. A simple solution is to reduce the amount of light streaming into your place with day curtains or opt for venetian or Korean blinds that lets you adjust the amount of light you desire.
Some people go for a compromise, such as clustering large leafy plants near direct sources of sunlight – this diminishes the light while jazzing up the place a bit.
If you want a permanent solution, you can also tint the windows.
2. Back Up With a Hand Fan For The First Few Minutes
A lot of the time, air conditioning doesn’t feel as cool as it should because of poor air circulation. Amplify your air conditioning by getting the wind going, using sheafs of A4 paper or old magazines as makeshift fans. Then, turn up the air conditioner by two degrees, and then fan yourself for the next five minutes or so.
By the time you stop, you’ll be feeling nice and cool all the way.
3. Clean The Vents Once A Month
The air conditioner’s vent (the part where cool air blows out) gets dirty and clogged very quickly. This can drive up your power bill since a clogged vent means it takes more energy for your air conditioner to cool the room.
In the long run, leaving the vent clogged can also damage the air conditioning unit, and ruin the delicate filters inside it. Replacements and a repairman can run up costs as high as S$300, especially if it is a central air conditioning unit.
So avoid being lazy and keep those vents clean. It just takes 15 minutes, a stepladder, and some running water to get it done.
4. Use The Timer Or Thermostat
If you are going to sleep with the air conditioner on, learn to set the timer or thermostat. Think about it: assuming you sleep for seven hours, that’s around 210 hours of power usage every month. Depending on the power consumption of your air conditioner, that could be a savings of upward of S$200 a month.
Setting the timer or thermostat is also better for the environment, and saves money in the long run–if you make a habit of keeping your air conditioner on all night, it is likely to break down in short order.
5. Keep the Maintenance Schedule
A worn out air conditioner will usually drain more power than a well maintained one. Factors like coolant leaks, stuck vents, and cracks in the casing can all cause your air conditioner to work overtime. And of course, poor maintenance can eventually lead to a total breakdown, and we know these things aren’t cheap to replace.
So keep a record of when your unit was last serviced, and call in a technician for a general cleaning once a year. You might also want to check if the manufacturer or your property manager offers special rates for these services.
6. When Replacing or Buying an Air Conditioner, Don’t Go for Cheap
It might be tempting to save by getting a cheap, obscure brand of air conditioner, or to forego any warranties. Our suggestion is that you don’t.
You may end up spending more on a good unit, but a lousy one will cost you more if you need to wholly replace the unit. Also, it is not cheap to call in a technician repeatedly (and you will be doing that if you go cheap).
Featured Image: alphaspirit / Shutterstock.com
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