Weather extremes like hotter days and thunderstorms have been predicted to take place in Malaysia from May until September thanks to the southwest monsoon. So far, these predictions are correct. Being one of the many who does not agree with extremely hot conditions, I have my air conditioner on full blast and at its lowest temperature of 16 degrees.
Though this feels great while I cool off and seek refuge in the shelter, it’s painful on my electricity bill and I’m sure I’m not alone. If like me, you need to save on air conditioning costs, here are a few tips and tricks you can use to make your air-con a little more efficient.
1. Look out for its Energy Efficient Rating (EER)
Before we get into the tips, it’s firstly worthwhile noting if your air-con unit is actually energy efficient, or not. This is easily identified by the EER sticker attached to your unit, the more stars it has, the more efficient it is. You could consider replacing your air-con with a more efficient one to further reduce your electricity costs. Also, consider the horsepower of your unit in relation to the size of your room or living area. If it’s a smaller room, a lower horsepower will work just fine.
2. Regularly maintain your air-con unit
Clean your air conditioner’s filter regularly - at least once every 3 weeks - as it often gets clogged with dust and pollutants. This means you aren’t getting the full effect and it’s working harder to push cool air out. Get your unit serviced regularly to also avoid any leaks or faults that may cause greater damage.
3. Set your temperature between 24-25 degrees Celsius
You may not know this but the cooler you set your temperature, the more energy it uses. Setting it between 23-25 degrees Celsius has been known to be the sweet spot which allows you to enjoy savings on your electricity costs. If you do not feel the coolness, you may need to clean its filter, get it serviced, or are using an underpowered unit for the size of your room. Also, don’t forget to keep your windows closed when your air-con is on!
4. Use dry mode
Dry mode reduces the humidity levels in your room. A room that has higher humidity is also a room that is warmer. On Dry mode, most of the components don’t work as hard thereby using less energy/power to cool your room which translates to lower electricity costs. Though it won’t cool your room as effectively as Cool mode, it dehumidifies the air which will automatically reduce the temperature in the room.
5. Set a timer
This little trick is especially useful at night. We often sleep with the air-con on all night long, and we probably don’t need it on for that long. Set it to switch off after a few hours to be more energy efficient.
6. Keep direct sunlight out
Try to find ways to reduce as much direct sunlight getting into your room. With more sunlight/heat in your room, your air-con will be working harder to cool the air. Thick curtains, blinds or even tinting your windows are possible solutions you could explore. Alternatively, use the fan when the sun is shining directly into your room and only switch on the air-con once it has moved.
And of course, you could try using your fan for most of the day and only switch on your air-con when you absolutely need it.
To help you make greater savings, you can also pay for your utilities bills with a credit card, such as the Standard Chartered JustOne Platinum Mastercard that allows you to earn up to 15% cashback on your spending, including autobill.