Do air conditioners use a lot of electricity?

Imagining life in summers without air conditioners already makes us sweat. But then so does imagining the electricity bill after using air conditioners. Does using an air conditioner always have to affect our electricity bills so much?

In a typical household, AC can consume up to 16% of the total electricity usage and in warmer regions it can go up to a lot more in summers. But of course the amount of electricity used by and air conditioner can vary with its size, model and age.

Why does an air conditioner use so much power?

An air conditioning system is a complex system that requires a lot of energy to run, and the cooler you set your temperature to, the more electricity it uses. To understand why an AC uses so much power, we need to know how it works. 

An air conditioning system consists of a series of tubes winded into coils making up the evaporator and condenser coils. 

A pump or a compressor moves refrigerant throughout the air conditioning system. 

The refrigerant evaporates inside the evaporator coil and creates a gas that is pumped back into the compressor, releasing heat outside and sends the cool air that flows in the house.

If your AC starts consuming even more power, it could be an indication that something is wrong with the unit and it needs to be checked. Regular maintenance of an air conditioning unit is important to avoid any such issues with the system.

How to save money on air conditioning costs?

Of course the easiest way to save money on air conditioning is by using it less often or raising the temperature a little when you use it. However, that’s not the only way. 

Here are a few tips to make your air conditioning a little more economical

Upgrading your AC system

If you’re using an old air conditioning system, upgrading it to a newer model can help save on the electricity bill. The older the system is, the more energy is needs to function. The advancement in air conditioning technology is making the new models more efficient that help in saving energy and are also more affordable.

Cleaning the filter

The AC filter needs to be cleaned or replaced every month. A dirty filter can make it difficult for the AC to function properly and end up making it consume more electricity. Instead of buying replaceable filters, you can also opt for the permanent ones that only need cleaning every month and can be used again.

Using an AC timer or smart thermostat

Most air conditioning systems have already built in timers. You can optimise the usage by setting those timers to regulate the functioning time of your system by setting it to turn off when you leave and turn on around half an hour before you come home. This regulates the usage and keeps your home cool when you need it to be.

Using energy saver on window units

Usually in window air conditioning systems, when the desired room temperature is reached, the compressor shuts off but the fan keeps functioning which is not required. An energy saver button is a feature on new AC models that shuts off the fan when the compressor gets shut. Switching to the energy saving mode can reduce unnecessary energy consumption by an air conditioning system.

Even though air conditioners use significant amount of electricity, you can always try out convenient ways and ease it out on the bill.