We all know how diverse the weather can be in Australia.
While some parts of the country scorch with sunny days and high humidity, others, just a few hundred kilometres away, face chilly mornings and frosty nights. Then, of course, there are those places which experience the four seasons in a day.
For this reason, a reliable air conditioning and heating system is highly desirable to keep you cool or warm as the mercury requires.
But while these systems offer much-needed relief from the elements, they can also lead to skyrocketing energy bills, burdening many households with exorbitant expenses.
For some people, it is becoming a growing concern. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!
There are practical and effective ways to run these systems and, at the same time, keep your home comfortable without breaking the bank.
This article will provide tips and tricks to help you save money on your air conditioning and heating bills. From simple adjustments in daily habits to intelligent investments in energy-efficient technologies, we’ll explore a range of strategies tailored to suit Australian households and their unique climate challenges.
If you are thinking of installing air conditioning to make the warm weather more bearable, here are some practical tips to help you reduce its running costs.
One of the main things you can do is set your thermostat at an energy-efficient temperature. During summer, aim for around 24 – 26 degrees Celsius (75 – 78 degrees Fahrenheit) when you’re at home and slightly higher when you’re away.
Another strategy you should adopt is using ceiling fans to support your air conditioning system. Ceiling fans are a cost-effective way to circulate cool summer and redistribute warm winter air. Using them in conjunction with your air conditioner can enhance its efficiency and reduce its workload.
It is also wise to seal any air leaks in your windows, doors, and other gaps you find. Doing this will prevent cool air from escaping in summer and warm air from infiltrating in winter. This tactic will ensure that your air conditioner operates more efficiently and minimises energy waste.
It would help to incorporate more natural ventilation into your home to take advantage of cooler evenings and nights. During these times, opening windows and using cross ventilation to let fresh air circulate through your home can be a great way to cool your place down. In the summer, it can significantly reduce the need to use your air conditioning system. So, consider putting in more windows around your house with fly screens to reduce the chances of bugs entering your home, if you can.
Regular and proper maintenance is another way to ensure your air conditioning system runs at optimal performance. Make a point of cleaning or replacing air filters every few months to keep the system running efficiently. It is also worth scheduling professional inspections to identify issues and ensure the unit is in optimal working condition.
Other intelligent things to do to reduce your bills are strategically using curtains or blinds to block out direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day. Doing this will reduce heat gain inside your home and lessen the workload on your air conditioning system.
Additionally, it would be best if you opted for units with a high energy-efficiency rating and zoning systems allowing you to control temperatures in different areas of your home independently. That way, you can focus on only cooling the needed areas, reducing energy waste.
It is also worth investigating renewable energy options like solar-powered air conditioning systems. Solar panels can help offset the energy consumption of your air conditioner, leading to significant long-term savings.
Here is further information on what to look for in an air conditioning system.
The winter months in some parts of Australia can be frigid, so naturally, you’ll want to have your heating system on for much of the time if you live there. If you do, you can save money on your heating bill in several ways.
One of the most obvious ways to do this is to layer up with warm clothing and blankets to maintain your comfort levels without relying solely on the heating. But if you’re looking for less obvious tips, here are some ways to shave a few pennies off that bill.
Like with air conditioning, it pays to set your thermostat to an energy-efficient temperature when you have it on. Ideally, you should aim for around 18 – 20 degrees Celsius (64 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit) when you are at home and lower when you’re away or sleeping.
To reduce draughts in your house, it is also advisable to close all doors, have your curtains drawn, and put rugs and door snakes down to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping. Doing this will also help retain heat within your home and reduce the need for excessive use of your heating system. That said, if it is sunny during the day, it is a good idea to open curtains to allow natural sunlight to enter your home. This tactic can also provide a natural source of warmth.
Another good way to minimise heat loss is to properly insulate your walls, floors, and roofs to improve energy efficiency and retain warmth. This will help your heating system work more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and costs. You should also consider using a portable gas heater (make sure it is entirely up to code) to warm the room before turning on your main system.
Again, like with air conditioning, you must regularly maintain your heating system to ensure efficiency. A well-maintained heating system consumes much less energy and performs better. Should your heating system not be energy efficient, you should investigate the financial feasibility of upgrading to one that consumes much less.
Lastly, it is worth getting an energy audit of your home to identify areas of improvement. Some Australian states offer energy efficiency programs and rebates for upgrading to various measures that will help you to do this. Taking advantage of these initiatives can lead to a substantial reduction in costs over the long term.
We hope you have found these strategies for reducing your air conditioning and heating bills useful.
By implementing these tips and energy-efficient practices, you can significantly reduce the cost of your overall household bills.
Remember, even small changes of habits and adjustments to your heating system can make a difference, especially over time, where it can lead to significant long-term savings. Therefore, enabling you to enjoy the comfort of your home all year round without having to worry about heating a hole into your wallet.
Having good quality indoor temperature control is a minor but impactful home improvement that can greatly improve quality of life and home value in the long run too. If you’re interested in other ways to make the most of your property value, you can check out our article on other types of budget friendly renovations that significantly increase the value of your home.