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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RUN AN AIR CONDITIONER?

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Air conditioners, once considered a luxury afforded only by the wealthy, have in recent years, become an affordable option for many. Advancements in technology and design have driven down their installation and running costs, and increased their popularity. Here in the UK, following soaring summer temperatures, there has been an unprecedented demand.

The installation of an air conditioner is, of course, a considerable expense, and the ongoing costs will also need careful consideration. In this article we help you get an understanding of what factors impact the cost to run them.

HOW MUCH DOES AN AIR CONDITIONER COST TO RUN?

With recent rises in energy prices, without a doubt, this is one question that every prospective customer will ask.  However, this is not a straightforward question which we can answer precisely. There are many variables that affect the running cost of you AC unit, and these we will discuss in more detail below. The following table will give you a rough idea of typical hourly costs per unit size.

Unit Size Hourly cost
2kw
7p
2.5kw
8p
3.5kw
10p
5kw
16p
7kw
23p
10kw
38p

HOW MUCH POWER DOES AN AIR CONDITIONER USE?

Another question that does not have a cut and dry answer, as this will vary with each manufacturer.  For an accurate answer, be sure to check with the contractor installing your system or the electrician providing the power supply service. Below is a simple table that gives you an idea of how much power an AC system uses.  The suggested fuse size is the unit’s maximum draw.

Suggested Fuse rating in AMPS for a split wall mounted system
2kw
10
2.5kw
10
3.5kw
10
5kw
13
7kw
16
10kw
20

WHAT FACTORS WILL AFFECT RUNNING COSTS?

The running costs of an air conditioner will vary according to its type and size (by size we are not referring to physical size, but output). Most people appreciate that the longer their air conditioner is operating, the higher their electricity bills will be, and in this day and age, when we are very environmentally conscious, there is another good reason to be mindful of the energy that we are using too.

Thankfully there are simple steps that you can take to make sure that your air conditioner operating as efficiently as it possibly can, this will help you to keep your energy usage low when temperatures rise.

Insulation …

Most people associate insulation with keeping the heat in during the winter months however creating a thermal barrier with insulation does a fantastic job of keeping the summer heat out too! If your house is well insulated, you will find that you do not need to have your air conditioner operating constantly, and it will not have to work so hard to keep your room at the correct temperature. So, whether you are using your air conditioner to cool or heat your home, ensuring that your home is well insulated makes good financial sense.

Have regular service and maintenance …

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The regular servicing of your air conditioning system will increase its efficiency and lifespan, reduce running costs, and help to keep your energy bills low. Depending on your system and its use, generally speaking a domestic unit will require a service visit once a year, and a commercial system twice a year.

It is possible in some instances to clean the filters and fans yourself, but it is recommended that you enlist a professional to carry out a thorough service, to keep your system functioning properly. An experienced engineer will be able to detect any early signs of a faulty component and will be able to repair or replace it avoiding a costly emergency breakdown.

Installation costs compared to running costs …

Don’t be tempted to install the cheapest air conditioner, as although you may be saving on installation costs they are often less efficient and therefore far more expensive to run. An inverter air conditioner uses a variable speed compressor which speeds up and slows down as required to maintain room temperature. In simple terms as the system never actually powers off, it doesn’t waste huge amounts of energy constantly powering on and off like a non inverter system. Although they are more expensive to install inverter systems are far more efficient, more effective and have a longer life span than non inverter systems.

Consider unit size …

To keep your running costs low you will need to calculate the correct unit size for the area. One that’s too small will not heat or cool your room effectively, and one that’s oversized will be inefficient, expensive to run and costly to repair.

Take control of your unit …

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Take the time to get to know your system energy saving features. A well controlled system will certainly be easier on the pocket, so make sure you read your AC manuals carefully. Modern day air conditioners have high spec features such as WIFI enabled systems allowing total temperature via a smartphone app, or even voice control using Alexa or Google Home, so that you can customize your heating and cooling settings, review your consumption and ensure that you air conditioner is being used only when it is needed.

Choose the right air conditioner for your needs ….

Make sure you have the right air conditioner for the job! Sounds obvious but there are many different heating and cooling options out there for you to choose from. From single wall mounted unit to complex multi split systems, your expert AC installer will find the perfect energy efficient solution for your individual needs.

Review your energy supplier…

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Shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal. With prices set to rise, there has never been a better time to review how much you are paying and choose who is supplying your energy.

RUNNING COSTS FAQ’S

How can I reduce the running cost of my air conditioner?

This question has been answered in more detail in the above article but key considerations are: check that your building is insulated, carry out regular service and maintenance, upgrade to an more energy efficient system, check that unit is correct size and ensure unit is controlled effectively.

How can I reduce my carbon footprint from my AC system?

This article highlights ways to reduce the running costs of your air conditioner. By following these easy steps you will be helping to reduce your energy usage and in turn your carbon footprint. If you would like to find out more information on whether air conditioning is bad for the environment and what you can do to help reduce global warming please click here.

How can I monitor the running costs of my air conditioning system?

By connecting your air conditioner to your home wifi network, it is easy to remotely control your thermostat, set temperature schedules, and keep an close eye on your energy consumption. Download the app to your smartphone that corresponds to your manufacturer or alternatively use voice control via Alexa or Google Home.

Is air conditioning expensive to run?

This is a difficult question to answer simply as air conditioners can be considerably expensive to run especially if your house is poorly insulated, your system is incorrectly sized, poorly maintained or your energy tariff is too high. However, an air conditioner is a highly efficient at cooling and heating which doesn’t need to be heavy on your wallet if you ensure that your take the advice given in this article.

Evergreen provide AC services to suit all budgets and applications. For expert advice on installation, maintenance, or emergency repair of an AC system in your home please contact our specialist team.

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