How much does air conditioning cost to run?

Are you planning to run an air conditioner at home but are worried it might cost you a lot? While the cost to run whichever type of aircon unit varies depending on the electric rates in your city, how often you run it and how energy efficient your aircon is, one thing that’s invariable is that running an air conditioner will increase your power consumption. But it’s less than you might think.

In this article, we will break down the cost of running an air conditioner, depending on whether you’re using it for cooling or for heating. Let’s assume an electricity usage charge of 35c/kWh for these calculations…

The cost to run an air conditioner for cooling

Depending on the size of your room, your average reverse cycle air conditioner will cost you around $0.25-$0.35 per hour. If you have a medium-sized room of 36 sq.m., then your air con may cost around $0.36-$0.70 to run. But if you have a larger room with an area of 50 sq.m., then it may cost between $0.70 and $0.95 per hour.

If you don’t want to be surprised by your electricity bills, then don’t go for a ducted whole-house reverse cycle air conditioning system. This air con system is the biggest money pit and costs $2.45 to $3.45 per hour to run. That’s far more expensive than if you were using the system for heating, but if you want every corner of your house to be icy cool, then go for it!

Air con for heating–How much does it cost?

Now let’s talk about using your air con for heating. Well, it generally costs around $0.13 to $0.36 per hour to use a reverse cycle air conditioner to warm a room. But just as you might expect, a ducted whole-house reverse cycle air conditioning system costs the most at $1.45 to $2.12 per hour! We know it’s hard on the pocket so make sure you really need it before you press that button.

When the costs add up

If the hourly running costs don’t look scary enough, don’t forget that these air conditioner costs will quickly add up over time. Imagine running your split system air conditioner for cooling an average of four hours each day throughout the summer. That’s already equivalent to an extra $200 to your next power bill! So just imagine if you run your air con for eight hours a day, or if you have a ducted air conditioning system that would have you pay at least an additional $1,000 for the luxury during the summer months. Define bill shock.

Running your air conditioner all day or all night–which is cheaper?

Are you the type who avoids using your air conditioner during peak demand times to minimize your energy costs? Well, you could be sweating for nothing! Especially if you’re on a single rate tariff, the cost to run your air conditioner stays at the same rate throughout the whole day. You just need to pay peak energy prices if you have a smart meter and not a traditional meter installed, or if you have a “time to use tariff” deal with your energy retailer.

Saving on your air conditioning running costs

While there are inevitable costs that come with owning an air conditioning unit, there are still ways to help you reduce the price of keeping cool. Here are a few tips to help you minimise your energy consumption and save money in the long run:

  • Use an energy-efficient air conditioner: See those star ratings when you’re shopping for an air conditioner? Those are indicators of their energy efficiency. The more stars you see, the more efficient the appliance. The more energy efficient it is, the more you get to save in the long term.
  • Set your air con to the right temperature: Did you know that even little changes to air con temperature setings can add a considerable amount to your power bill? So make sure that you set your air conditioner to the right temperature when you turn it on.
  • Consider buying an air con unit when the time is right: Installation costs of air conditioning units can be fairly seasonal. It probably won’t hurt if you hold off on your air con purchase until the time is right.
  • Keep your air conditioning clean: If this doesn’t make sense to you, here’s a simple explanation: The harder your air con system has to work to reach your required temperature, the more power it will consume. If your unit is well-maintained, it will run more efficiently and doesn’t have to work as hard as when it has never been cleaned.

Air conditioning FAQs

Q: How often should I have my air conditioning serviced?

A: It actually depends on your system. Typically, it should be at least once a year, with periodic inspections of up to four times a year. We suggest scheduling a consultation with a trusted air conditioning service company that can tailor a service plan to meet your budget requirements.

Q: How can I ensure that my air conditioning unit lasts long?

A: The best thing you can do is to have it regularly serviced and maintained by air conditioning specialists. You can also prolong its life by making sure it’s always clean and that its air grills and ductrowk are not blocked.

Q: Why does my air conditioning system seem to need more refrigerant each year?

A: Most likely, that’s because your unit is leaking and needs repair. When your refrigerant is leaking, your unit does not only lose its cooling capacity but also uses more energy. It’s also very bad for the environment, since refrigerant gases emitted into the atmosphere contribute to the depletion of our ozone layer.

Contact us

Looking for an air conditioning company to install or service your air conditioning units? Look no further. Our specialists team are experienced with all kinds of air conditioners from a range of brands. We offer comprehensive air conditioning services, including installations, maintenance, servicing, and repairs to keep your air conditioning units running smoothly all the time. Call us today for a free quote.

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