In a world of soaring electricity prices, increasingly unpredictable weather and a wide variety of air conditioning manufacturers, it can be hard to figure out how to reduce your bills with cheaper aircon. The good news is that there are some simple tips and tricks that anyone can use on almost any aircon system that will slash those bills – some manual and some automatic. So, if you want cheaper aircon, we’ve compiled an at-a-glance list for those in a hurry and one that goes into a bit more detail. Read on...
It may sound simplistic, but such a simple change can make your aircon bills around 10 per cent cheaper. Savings will vary depending on where in the world you are and whether you measure degrees in Celsius or Fahrenheit, but the fundamental message here is that, if you’re sick of huge power bills, a small adjustment along these lines can lead to cheaper aircon and significant savings.
It might sound obvious to some, but many people like the idea of getting some fresh air while their AC is attempting to normalize room temperature. This is especially true of old and cheap aircon units which don’t handle humidity well and can subsequently leave rooms too dry – affecting both your comfort and your health.
In other situations, you might have accidentally left a window open in another room which is likely to send your aircon unit into overdrive to compensate. Or, it could be that you’re premises struggle with insulation (and gap sealing around doors and windows) that lets in hot, cold, humid and dry air whether you want it to or not. While some, older premises are designed to ‘breathe’ (by purposely utilizing vents that link the inside to the outside) in an attempt to naturally regulate temperature, many more will simply have gaps around poorly fitted windows or have frames that require basic maintenance.
In some instances, simply using cheap filler, caulk or sealant from a hardware store to fill some gaps can lead to cheaper aircon.
There are plenty of products that should be purchased according to their total cost of ownership (TCO)… but they aren’t. While it’s easy to believe businesses are ripping people off with cheap goods that cost more money down the line, the simple fact is that many consumers prefer to buy the cheapest option… and regret it later. Air conditioners are no exception.
If you ever bought the cheapest computer printer, you may have noticed how ink was so expensive that it was cheaper to buy a new printer than new, replacement ink for it. A slightly better printer would be much cheaper to run. The same goes for cars – a cheap car will be uncomfortable, offer a miserable driving experience and depreciation will mean its re-sale value plummets. These are just two examples of false economies.
So, to get cheaper aircon, it is worth looking at what you already have installed. If it’s a cheap model with low energy efficiency, then your power bills will be inflated and potentially cost you more money than investing in a new and better model.
If you want cheaper aircon, you might not need aircon at all. Desk fans and pedestal fans, for example, are much cheaper to run and cheaper to buy! The downsides, of course, are that they do little to address humidity, they can be noisy, they can take up valuable space you don’t have, they can be eyesores and they won’t heat your premises when it’s cold.
A portable air conditioner, like an evaporative cooler, can also be attractive. These use minimal power (some run on USB battery packs for phones!), they’re portable and can be relatively inexpensive. There are downsides though: they rely upon cool water vapour to reduce the temperature and this can increase humidity; their area of effect (i.e. their range) is small, they need regular re-filling with water and they can be noisy. They can be great for camping in hot areas though!
Beyond these options, investing in expensive installations can provide much cheaper aircon – but the outlay and work involved is significant. A basic ceiling fan can help reduce costs, in some instances. These don’t look as bad as portable units and they’re still cheap to run, but they aren’t suited to low ceilings(!), they aren’t cheap to install and they won’t help with humidity.
Meanwhile, solar aircon can help if you’re in a premises with access to its own roof (and live in a sunny country). These systems are expensive and require professional installation but, once up and running, can dramatically reduce your bills and give you cheaper aircon.
Many people will put the above advice in one (or more of) the too hard, too expensive or too much to remember baskets. So, the good news is that, for a relatively small outlay, you can automate you’re your existing AC using artificial intelligence (AI) and enjoy cheaper aircon without the fuss.
A smart, AI-driven aircon controller won’t just reduce your bills, it will make you more comfortable all year round. The systems can be smart enough to know where they are in the world (and so know the outdoor temperature), measure sunlight penetrating a premises, measure relative humidity, indoor temperature and know what time of day it is.
When used in conjunction with a phone app, they can also learn a user’s own preferences just by having them tap on their phone to say whether it’s too hot or too cold, or by using existing smart-home interfaces like Alexa and Google Assistant.
These work to achieve cheaper aircon by taking all external, internal, natural and human factors into account and making small, incremental adjustments to suit different users at different times of day at different times of year. This helps avoid the typical, inefficient AC adjustment of suddenly flooding a room with very cold air until the room’s average temperature is achieved.
Over time, a smart, AI-based AC controller will learn your preferences until you barely need to interact with it. This makes you more comfortable AND provides cheaper Aircon.
If you want to automate your existing AC to make you more comfortable and achieve cheaper aircon, check out ambiclimate’s automatic controllers which can cost as little as US$129. They work with almost any AC model on the market.