Air conditioners are notoriously expensive to operate. However, you can not NOT use them, especially when you take the Philippines’ hot and humid climate into consideration. If you want to soften the financial blow of operating your air conditioner, we’ve prepared the infographic below to give you actionable aircon energy saving tips.
Aircon Energy Saving Tips
- 1. Ensure proper maintenance
- 2. Close the vents
- 3. Buy the right cooling capacity for your room
- 4. Ensure proper insulation
- 5. Shade your windows
- 6. Shade the outdoor part of your AC
- 7. Proper ventilation space
- 8. Open doors and windows sparingly
- 9. Don’t use halogen or incandescent lights
- 10. Use a timer or a programmable thermostat
- 11. Replace your old air conditioner
- 12. Use fans to circulate air
- 13. Consider using an inverter air conditioner
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Aircon Energy Saving Tips
Environmental factors, usage habits, and age all affect the energy consumption of an air conditioner. If you want to save a bit more on your electricity bill next month, then you should do the following:
1. Ensure proper maintenance
A properly maintained air conditioner will surely run more efficiently than one that isn’t.
Particular care should be taken with the air filter. When the air filter is coated by a thick layer of dust, it will prevent proper heat transfer from occurring over the evaporator. This will cause your unit to work harder than necessary. In fact, a dirty air conditioner can increase your energy consumption by 5% to 15%. With that said, cleaning the air filter is easy enough to do, and provides so much benefits for so little effort. It is recommended to clean the air filter every 250 hours of use, or at least once a month.
You should also ensure that the condenser coil at the back of the unit (or in the outdoor unit) is clean and free from obstruction to make its heat transfer capability more efficient. However, this is significantly harder to do, and it is recommended to have a professional handle this for you.
2. Close the vents
Air vents are introduce fresh air from the outside to your room while the air conditioner is operating. In effect, it reduces the staleness of the air in your room, but it also increases the overall temperature.
While it does have its uses, you should keep these closed for the most part to help maintain a more even temperature in your room. If you feel that the air is too stale, you should turn off the AC and open the window instead.
3. Buy the right cooling capacity for your room
Before taking the plunge and buying an air conditioner, you should first research how much cooling capacity should your air conditioner have to avoid problems later on.
If you buy a unit that has insufficient cooling capacity to cool your room, then its compressor will run for longer periods to try to reach the desired temperature. This will result in high energy consumption, and may wear out your compressor faster as well.
We’ve written a guide on choosing the appropriate cooling capacity for your room. Go check it out!
4. Ensure proper insulation
Reducing the occurrence of air leaks is a simple yet cost-effective way of reducing your monthly energy bill from air conditioning. Doing so will keep cold air in and keep warm air out, thus helping your air conditioner achieve optimal temperature regulation.
Caulk cracks and openings in your room to prevent air leakage from occurring. One of the biggest offenders is usually the opening slot for the window air conditioner. For this, you should invest in insulation panels and sealants to better insulate your room.
5. Shade your windows
Sunlight is one of the prime sources of heat in any room. With that said, it is relatively easy to control by using curtains and window awnings, as these installations reduce the room’s heat gain by 33% and 77%, respectively. This prevents sunlight from heating your room too much.
6. Shade the outdoor part of your AC
Apart from controlling the amount of sunlight that is entering your room, you should also shield the outdoor part of your air conditioner from sunlight as well.
The primary role of the outdoor part of your air conditioner is to dissipate the heat created in the heat exchange process to the outside environment. Exposing the outdoor part of your AC may add a little bit more heat to the process, which can affect its performance and efficiency. Shading the outdoor part of your air conditioner with carefully positioned trees or awnings can make it 10% more efficient.
7. Proper ventilation space
Make sure that there is at least 12 – 24 inches of ventilation space around the outdoor unit ensure that proper heat dissipation is occurring.
8. Open doors and windows sparingly
Large open crevices like doors and windows can leak cold air out and let warm air into your room. Keep your doors and window closed as much as possible to prevent your room’s temperature from being thrown off-balance.
9. Don’t use halogen or incandescent lights
Your choice of lighting can also affect your room’s indoor temperature. Light bulbs generate heat as a by-product of illumination. Halogen bulbs and incandescent bulbs are the worse offenders, with them emitting as much as 260°C of heat while in use. The more energy efficient options are CFL and LED lights, with them only generating 80°C and 20-80°C, respectively.
10. Use a timer or a programmable thermostat
While you can certainly go to sleep faster in a cold room, the energy consumed to create that cold environment may be a bit wasted especially when you’re already down and out in deep sleep. That is why you should use a timer that controls the thermostat to decrease the temperature or completely turn off the aircon while you’re in deep sleep to save energy.
11. Replace your old air conditioner
An air conditioner’s life can last for a couple of years, but you will note a significant drop in its level of performance through the years. If it gets too inefficient and it starts to affect your bill, strongly consider replacing it. Replacing a 10-year-old AC unit with a newer and more efficient unit can reduce your energy consumption by as much as 20% to 40%.
12. Use fans to circulate air
Augmenting your air conditioner with an electric fan will help in better circulating cold air throughout the room. The rush of cold air brought by the fan’s circulation can make your room feel colder than it actually is, and may even make you lower the aircon’s thermostat.
13. Consider using an inverter air conditioner
Inverter air conditioners are anywhere from 15% to 50% more efficient compared to their non-inverter counterparts. Inverters work by controlling the frequency of the incoming electrical current that goes to the compressor, which allows it to operate at variable speeds. After reaching the desired temperature, the inverter compressor does not completely shut off. Instead, it operates at a lower speed to maintain the set temperature.
While they are significantly more expensive the their non-inverter counterparts, the savings you will experience will surely benefit you as the years come.
Turning on the air conditioner is a costly proposition. However, it shouldn’t always be that way. We hope that the content of this infographic has helped you be more mindful in the usage of your aircon, especially during the upcoming summer season!
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.