6 Tips for No-Guilt and Budget-Friendly Aircon Usage
As the summer season begins, many Filipinos become more appreciative of their air conditioning units. In the swelteringly hot weather of Philippine summers, nothing feels more wonderful than staying indoors with the aircon running at its coldest setting. However, getting a high electricity bill at the end of the month can be a sobering reminder that keeping the AC on 24/7 comes at a steep cost.
While it may not be possible to completely eliminate air conditioning-related expenses, there are ways you can reduce the costs and enjoy the comfort the appliance brings guilt-free. You just need to make a few creative adjustments and find smarter ways to maximize your appliances.
If you want to lower your air conditioning costs and feel more comfortable this summer, consider these tips for guilt-free, budget-friendly aircon usage.
Use Alternative Cooling Methods
Consider other ways to keep your space cool and comfortable so you can save on electricity costs. For example, use an electric fan on days when the temperature is comfortable enough to only need an indoor breeze. Make sure to keep the fan clear of dust and debris so that its performance is not impeded and it doesn’t spread allergens in the room. Finally, make sure to turn the fan off if you leave the room to avoid wasting electricity.
It’s also a good idea to purchase an air cooler and use it when the weather feels warm and dry. The appliance blows air through water-soaked pads, restoring moisture to the air and giving instant relief on a warm summer day. It’s more cost-effective than an air conditioner, and the maintenance cost is lower, too. The best part about having an air cooler is its portability, which allows you to move it to any part of your home. In this way, you can place the portable aircon in whichever room or area you’re currently occupying and stay cool wherever you are.
Keep Cool Air Inside
At times, your electricity bill may be higher because you’re also paying for cool air that’s escaping from your room. This happens when the spaces around your windows have little cracks or gaps where cool air slips out. As a result, your air conditioner works harder and expends more energy than necessary because the cold air doesn’t remain in the room, making it more difficult to maintain the temperature that you want.
If you don’t want to waste energy in this way, make sure to close any small gaps and spaces around your windows. You can install weatherstripping around the doorways, too. Making sure your room is airtight allows you to reduce your energy expenses and fully enjoy the cool relief that your AC offers.
Cover Your Windows
Apart from cold air escaping from window gaps, these fixtures may also allow heat to enter your home in the form of sunlight. While it may keep your room bright and well-lit, the sun also adds to the heat and can feel especially uncomfortable in the afternoons. Prevent radiant heat from adding to the high temperature inside your home by installing any form of shade, such as blinds and curtains, on your windows. If your room faces west and gets a lot of sun during the afternoons, choose curtains with light-colored backings to help deflect the sunlight and heat.
By covering your windows, you can keep heat from entering your home. As such, your air conditioner won’t have to run at full blast to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Maintain the Temperature at a Comfortable Level
It can be tempting to run your aircon on its coldest setting all summer. However, this can significantly raise your energy bill as the appliance will have to work harder to reach the low thermostat. If you want to keep enjoying the cool air from your aircon without incurring a high electric bill, set its thermostat at a cool but energy-efficient level. This ensures your appliance won’t have to work too hard or consume as much energy.
As a guide, a thermostat between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius should be a comfortable temperature for most people. Raising the thermostat a degree higher also results in energy savings of up to 10 percent.
If your air conditioner comes with energy-saving features, take advantage of them. For example, some models have an automatic mode that raises the thermostat once the room is cool. This can be quite beneficial for keeping your space cool and comfy while making your energy bill manageable.
Set the Timer
Another feature you need to maximize is your aircon’s timer. Many air conditioners available today come with a built-in timer you can set so they shut on their own. Setting the hours your unit will operate can yield maximum energy efficiency. You can use this to automatically turn off your appliance in the middle of the night, when the room is already cool and you’re already fast asleep. You likely won’t notice that the unit is turned off, especially because summer nights tend to be cooler than the day.
Switch to an Energy-Efficient Unit
At times, the culprit for a high energy bill is using an old air conditioner model. Typically, an aircon can last for about 15 to 20 years. After this, they require more maintenance and are less energy efficient, which will only increase your electricity consumption.
If your unit is well past its prime, consider replacing it with an energy-efficient one, like an inverter aircon. ACs with inverter technology control temperature by adjusting the compressor’s motor speed as needed without completely turning it on or off. This operational method results in less power loss and is more energy efficient, saving you from high electric bills.
There’s no reason to stop enjoying your air conditioner’s cooling power when there are ways to keep your consumption and your electricity bill within a reasonable range. With a few adjustments to how you use your appliance and getting more energy-efficient aircon models, you can lower your energy expenses and keep your space cool and comfortable all summer long.
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