Magnetic Island North Queensland
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November 15th 2011
Aircon costing 40% of power bills

Air conditioning, which costs up to 25 times the amount of ceiling fans to run, is accounting for up to 40 per cent of many homes’ electricity bills each summer according to Ergon Energy. And, following, we look at the best options for keeping cool and saving dollars and energy.

With summer temperatures climbing across North Queensland, Ergon Energy is reminding customers to take control of their air conditioner use.

“It can cost around $530 a year to run a typical lounge room air conditioner,” explained Corporate Communications Manager John Fowler.

“While we are all looking for relief from the heat over summer, if you don’t use a little bit of ‘energy sense’ with such appliances the bill shock can be a very unwelcome consequence,” he said.

Mr Fowler said many customers did not realise the impact that cooling appliances could have on the household electricity bill.

“While a ceiling fan will generally cost around two cents or less per hour to run, an air conditioner can cost 10 to 25 times that amount,” Mr Fowler said.

Six ways to save on air conditioner costs include:

* Don't use them. Use a fan and open up your home to create cross-breezes instead. Ceiling fans cost approximately 2 cents per hour to run vs air-conditioners, which depending on the size can cost between 13 – 49 cents per hour to run.

But if you have to use aircon then:

* Set your aircon to 25°C. It’s the most comfortable and energy-efficient temperature setting for summer. For each degree you drop, you’ll add to your electricity costs.

* Close windows and doors in areas you want to cool. And remember to close blinds and curtains too. It keeps the heat out of your home and makes your aircon more efficient.

* Turn off your aircon when you’re out. Leaving your aircon on wastes energy and costs you more to run.

* Clean the filter pads on your aircon regularly. This helps to ensure the aircon runs efficiently. An efficient air-conditioner will cost you less to run.

* Install ceiling insulation with a minimum rating that suits your location to keep the heat out of your home. This will help to ensure your aircon can work more efficiently.

For more ways to save on air conditioning and other energy sense tips with appliances, log onto

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Aircon costing 40% of power bills
Jenny Stirling
November 14th 2011
Ever wondered why stately homes in Europe had curtains? Obviously the velvet drapes enhanced the decor but I now realise that they were designed to keep the heat from open fire places in the freezing rooms. A similar thing with 4 poster beds which originally had curtains around them. Here in NQ, most of us leave curtains open to encourage breezes and let in the light. But I can see the point of closing them against the heat, especially with the cost of aircon.
Jonathan Volkwein
November 18th 2011
Ceiling insulation will slow down the transfer of heat into your home, but by the end of the day a lot of this heat will get through.
use a low power fan to remove the hot air from your roof space and replace it with cooler air at ambient. This means less heat will get inside.
November 18th 2011
the cost of electricity is way over priced. if anything the government needs to start pumping money in to alternative energy like wind and solar. my electricity bill for 3 months is around $1000 for using 1 aircon constantly in 1 bedroom. i hav e to budget to be able to afford this my daughter sleeps on a mattress on the floor of my room when summer hits. it just costs to much to run her aircon to. if we do not have them on its a uncomfortable sleepless night. i would rather be cool and poor than hot sticky and rich.

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