Summers and the pre-monsoon months are all about soaring heat and soaring electricity bills too. Of course you want to switch on that AC the moment the heat hits you. But did you ever wish you could reduce the resulting bill, even while you get to enjoy the cooling effects of the air conditioner?
We always do. And that’s why we thought of sharing some of these practical tips that can help reduce the expense of running your AC. Here are a few simple ways that will help you to reduce the huge electricity bills of your air conditioners.
1. Inverter And 5 Star Rated ACs
Inverter ACs are the most efficient home air conditioners, as they can help you save upto 40 percent more energy than normal 5 star ones. If it’s not as per your budget plans, you can alternatively go for a normal 5 star rated AC. BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) has labels on all ACs to help you understand how much electricity savings you can achieve by purchasing a high star rated appliance. You will recover the additional investment on a 5 star inverter AC in a year or two from electricity bills depending on your use.
2. Place Your Outdoor Unit In The Shade
The outdoor unit of your AC works more efficiently if you place it in the shade, away from direct sunlight. Shades such as trees or plants will prevent direct sunlight, absorb heat and cool the unit by transpiration. Keep the surrounding area well-ventilated to let the heat dissipate. Place a piece of board with a gap on top of the outdoor unit to prevent direct sunlight. In the shade, energy costs of an AC can come down by 10-20 percent. Try to keep the piping length to the indoor unit as short possible for best efficiency.
3. Clean The Filters
Frequently clean the filters in your indoor unit. If they are choked with dust, the volume of air flow will reduce and it will take more time to cool the room, consuming more electricity. An AC with auto-clean function can keep your filters clean and unclogged at all times. Do a wet servicing for the outdoor unit once a year or every season and check gas levels once a year.
4. White Roof
A white roof will reflect light and heat back to the atmosphere. It will help to bring down your indoor temperature by around 10 degrees Celsius. It will also reduce city temperatures by reducing urban heat island effect (it means that the particular atmosphere in the city gets heated up due to human activities). A black or cement roof absorbs heat, is warmer than a white roof by around 20 degrees (surface temperature) and also radiates heat to surrounding areas in the evening. Any white paint or tile will do – the more reflective the better.
5. Green Roof
Green roofs will help reduce indoor heat, reduce CO2 from the air, help to grow food and give you a beautiful rooftop. Both white and green roofs will help reduce AC energy bills substantially.
6. Curtains For Walls
Place thick curtains or blinds on west and south walls if they are directly exposed to sunlight. Also, cover the glass windows, particularly in these directions.
7. Smaller Rooms
If you’re constructing a new house, plan smaller, well-ventilated and insulated spaces. Keep the bedrooms small so that a 0.8 to 1.2 ton AC will be effective and help reduce energy costs. Smaller ACs consume less power than bigger units and are also more efficient EER wise.
8. Brick = Cool, Glass = Not Cool
Use insulating materials such as fly ash bricks or blocks for walls. Glass buildings are not a good option for Indian weather as glass allows heat gain and creates a greenhouse effect. It is okay to keep glass on the East or North sides where the sun is not strong, but it is important to remember that energy costs of ACs are much greater than that of lighting. A glass wall on the wrong side (direct sunlight) can increase AC requirement by 0.5 tons (700-900) watts in a 200 sq ft room while a closed wall would increase the lighting load by a maximum of 100 watts (can be much lower if LEDs are used).
9. Air Tight
Seal all windows, doors, wardrobes and storage spaces by using caulk sealant or rubber seals. Any air exchange will add to heat gain and the AC will have to work longer (more energy consumption). Reduce the volume of the room by adding false ceilings, partition walls or covering the underside of beds. The lesser volume to cool, the lesser energy consumed.
Use a fan with the AC. The circulating air will make you feel cool sooner and you’ll have to increase the set temperature sooner than otherwise.
So these were our tips and we’d of course love to know your ideas to reduce electricity costs when it comes to air conditioners.
Image source: Wikipedia Commons
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