The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Air conditioning ensures that the air inside your house remains cool, fresh and comfortable even while temperatures are soaring outside. Air conditioning is no longer a prerogative of only the rich.
Today, air conditioners are installed in more than 370,000 houses in Britain. America alone is reported to consume more energy for air conditioning than all other countries in the world. As an individual customer or a homeowner, you would be interested in knowing that you can save on your energy bills by following a few simple guidelines. For instance, light-colored roofing and siding products can reduce your peak cooling demand by 15 percent!
Read more energy efficiency tips to save money in our infographic below.
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Rising Cooling Costs
Steps to Maximize Energy Efficiency of Air Conditioning Systems
Rising Popularity of Air Conditioning Units
Air conditioning has become more popular with British households now with over 370,000 British households owning an air conditioning unit.
45% of households in the Midlands use air conditioning between 2 to 10 hours a day (May – September) compared to 32% in Central Scotland and the South West.
But Air Conditioning Cost Us
24% of consumers are delaying their purchases because of the added expense to their electricity bills.
23% of Brits who don’t have any cooling appliances plan to install air conditioning or fans in the future.
Brits leave fans and air conditioning units on for an average of 3 and quarter hours a day throughout the summer – costing a staggering £48.2m
Those homes with one air conditioning leave it on for an average of 4.5 hours each day – from May to September – costing them £38.42m
Top Tips to Maximize Energy Efficiency of Air Conditioner
- Turn it off.
We waste a lot of energy because we leave our electrical appliances on standby when they aren’t in use. But the average house could save about £85 a year by switching off at the plug.
- Turn it up.
Many of our rooms are overcooled. For each degree a cooling thermostat is raised by, energy reductions of 4-5% are realized.
- Buy efficient.
Most electrical appliances come with an energy-efficiency rating, usually between A and G – and you could save up to £90 a year by choosing the most efficient.
Improving insulation and air sealing around doors, windows, and attics prevent heat from entering your house. Air loss through ducts account for 30% of a cooling systems’ energy consumption.
- Throw out.
Inefficient appliances like old refrigerators, incandescent light bulbs etc. give off a lot of heat. Also unplug electronic equipment when not in use.
- Paint it ‘Cool’.
Use light-coloured or other “cool” roofing and siding products to reduce your peak cooling demand by 10-15%.
- Control it.
Keep operation to a minimum by adjusting the time and temperature controls. If the system also provides heating, ‘synchronise’ all the temperature settings to prevent different units heating and cooling in the same place.
- Maintain it.
Thorough and regular maintenance and cleaning will help keep your localised system at peak efficiency. Change the air conditioning filters at least 4 times a year.
- Get inspected.
Get your air-conditioning system regularly inspected by a certified Energy Assessor to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions for your hoe, business, or organization. It is also required by law.
Systems that require mandatory air conditioning inspection
All systems put in place on or after 1st January 2008 to be inspected within 5 years of installation.
- Air conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12Kw are affected by these regulations.
- A single person responsible for the operations of three 4Kw AC units will also be considered a single unit and hence be required to submit to inspection.
- Air conditioning systems that haven’t been inspected in the last 5 years.