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October 16, 2023 - 3 min read
It’s a debate that rages in Aussie households as soon as the mercury spikes, and anyone who’s lived through a sticky summer knows we don’t need the added heat. So, what is the ideal temperature to set the air conditioner for the ideal level of cool in summer?
The fact of the matter is what feels good to you might not be best for your health, the planet or your power bill. And, not all air conditioners are created equal, with split system, reverse cycle and portable air conditioners all offering different cooling, heating and energy-saving features.
So, we consulted the experts. Here’s what they had to say …
Before we discuss ideal air-conditioning temperature, it’s important to start with the basics – like making sure you’ve got the best air conditioner for your home. That means matching your choice to the size of your space, and how often you want to turn up the chill factor.
“If you only use your air conditioner a few weeks a year, then its energy efficiency credentials might not be your biggest priority. You might even consider a portable air conditioner that you can just wheel out for occasional cooling,” says Scott Bazley, The Good Guys Buyer – Seasonal.
“But if you use your air conditioner all summer and you’re also wanting heating in winter, it pays to invest in a more energy efficient, reverse cycle split system to save on your running costs.”
When it comes to size, bigger isn’t always better. “A large, powerful air conditioner in a small room will use more electricity than you need. For a small room, a 2.6kW unit is perfect but a large or open-plan space will need a 7kW to 8kW unit to cool properly,” says Scott.
And always check the energy star rating. The more stars, the better for avoiding bill shock. Here are some tips to help you choose an energy efficient air conditioner.
Solt 2.56KW Portable Air Conditioner
De'Longhi 2.6kW Portable Air Conditioner
Olimpia Splendid 4.7kW Portable Air Conditioner
Hisense C7.1kW H7.7kW Reverse Cycle Split System
Samsung C5kW H6kW Reverse Cycle Split System
Fujitsu C9.4kW H10.3kW Reverse Cycle Split System
Now that you know what type of air conditioner you need, it’s time to discuss that thermostat. According to Compare the Market’s General Manager of Utilities Brett Mifsud, 25°C to 27°C is the sweet spot for comfort and energy efficiency.
“Running the air conditioner can contribute to as much as half of all energy used in homes over the summer months,” says Brett.
“It can be tempting to blast your air con to the coolest temperature possible, but this is one of the key drivers to a higher electricity bill. Every degree cooler can add up to 10 per cent more to your electricity usage.”
According to a University of Adelaide study, 21°C to 24°C is the temperature at which older people experience the fewest health problems. The study outlines that people aged over 65 years are at increased risk of heat-related illnesses and that improving room temperatures can greatly benefit their wellbeing. Where air conditioning is not available, it recommends portable fans and evaporative coolers as an effective and affordable cooling solution for seniors.
Research by the Sleep Health Foundation has found the ideal temperature for a blissful snooze to be around 17°C to 19°C. For babies, however, it recommends bumping that up by one to two degrees as their bodies are still developing and more sensitive to changes in ambient temperature.
There are many small changes you can make that can hugely impact your electricity bill. To get the most from your air conditioner without blowing the bank …
Ready to beat the heat at home? Visit us in-store or online for all the best energy efficient cooling solutions to keep things chill at your place.
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