During hot summers, we can barely survive without the help of air conditioning. Even with the climate crisis, people are more dependent on in-house units. The problem is that air conditioning power consumption can be high at peak times — significantly more than most appliances in average households. The more we use it, the higher the electric bill is at the end of the month. But why do air conditioners require and consume so much power anyway?
Why Air Conditioning Power Consumption can be High
Air conditioning has to take hot air, cool it down, and push it back into your home. The system has a more elaborate process that puts components such as a compressor, indoor fan, and condenser fan to use. With so much going on in this system, it’s no wonder that air conditioning consumes a lot of energy.
If the temperature difference between outdoor air and the target indoor air is more significant, your air conditioner has to work harder, which means it requires more energy. This could get worse if you did not buy the right air conditioner for your home and/or don’t regularly maintain your unit.
Tips for a Lower Energy Bill
Even though air conditioning is power-consuming by default, there are still many things you can do to save money on your monthly electric bill, such as:
- Opt for split air conditioning over central air conditioning because it’s less complex, which means it consumes less power.
- Look for an energy-efficient air conditioner, which usually bears an Energy Star label and has at least a 13 on the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) scale.
- Buy the right-sized air conditioner. Ask a professional engineer if you are not sure how to calculate it.
- Set your thermostat a little bit higher than you normally prefer temperature-wise. This could cut power consumption by about 10%.
- Make sure your home is well-insulated to avoid leaks and overworking your air conditioner.
- Close and cover any windows or glass walls to keep the sun out.
- Keep your air conditioner, especially your air filter, clean. Dirt can block the air vents, which forces the system to work harder.
- Schedule regular maintenance to keep your air conditioner running at its best. It is also good to find problems earlier so you can fix them before they get worse.
- Use ceiling fans to circulate the indoor air. It can also help to keep the room cooler so you can set your thermostat up to 4 degrees higher without reducing your comfort.
- Do not place appliances near the thermostat because its sensor can detect the heat they give off.
- Avoid turning your air conditioner off and on again too often because the compressor uses the most energy when it kicks in.
- When nobody is home, set your thermostat to 78 degrees. Turn it back down to your desired temperature once you are home. You might need to wait a few minutes before your room is perfectly cooled, but this trick could save you a lot of money.
Many people are too lazy to be more considerate about their air conditioner, which leaves them with rising electric bills before they even realize it. Little do they know, if they only put in a little bit of effort, they could save tons of money every summer.