How to keep your cool and save on air conditioning costs

Large air conditioners add around $530 to the average power bill.
Large air conditioners add around $530 to the average power bill.

WITH power bills and temperatures soaring around Australia, consumer advocate group Choice has offered some tips for homeowners to help cut down on air-conditioning use and still keep their home cool.

Rigorous tests completed by the Choice team showed large air conditioners were one of the most expensive appliances to run in the family home, adding about $530 to the average power bill.

But there were many ways to help cool the house without switching on the air conditioner, like using shading and insulation, Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said.

Choice tests have shown ceiling and pedestal fans, which cost about $15 to $30 a year to run, were a much cheaper option than large air conditioners.

"Everyone's circumstances are different and no two rooms are exactly the same," Ms Just said.

"Think about the type of house or flat you live in, the size of the area you want to keep cool and whether you live in a dry or humid environment.

"These factors can influence the type of cooling option that will be the most effective," says Ms Just.

She said researching the options available was key to reducing power bills and keeping the home cool.

Read more about how to keep your home cool at


CHOICE tips for cutting costs and cooling your home

  • Prevent the house from getting too hot by use shading, ventilation, insulation.
  • Consider the size of the area you want to cool and how many days of heat you can put up with - a fan is an economical option to keep a smaller room cool for a few weeks a year.
  • Humid environments work better with a split system refrigerative air-conditioner, evaporative air conditioners work better in dryer climates.
  • Run the air-conditioner at 24-26 degrees. Changing the thermostat by one degree can save 15% of the air-conditioner's running costs.
  • Go to Choice's cooling calculator to find out if a fan or air-conditioner is best for your space,


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Topics:  air conditioning choice lifestyle smarter shopping summer weather

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