Save energy and stay cool

Air conditioning can be a major contributor to high electricity consumption. So to save costs, you should be smart about how you purchase and use an air conditioning system.

Look for air conditioners with at least a 4.5 star energy rating - every extra star can reduce running costs by 10%.

Select the warmest temperature setting for the thermostat. The recommended setting for PNG is around 27 degrees (81 °F). For every 1ºC you increase your thermostat, you can save about 10% on running costs.

A key to reducing air conditioning costs during hot days is to limit the amount of heat generated within the home or apartment during the afternoon, when temperatures are at their highest.

  • • Keep lights off when rooms are not in use. Lights generate heat that makes your air conditioner run more.
  • • Try to wash and dry clothes, iron and cook in the morning or later in the evening. Use microwave ovens, which produce much less heat than stoves for cooking.
  • • Use curtains or blinds to keep out direct sunlight. This will keep your house cooler.
  • • Eliminate activities in the afternoon that require a great deal of in and out through the doors of your home. This allows cool air to escape and hot air to enter the home.
  • • Use a ceiling fan or portable fan to supplement your air conditioning. A fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler (and costs less to operate) so you can set your thermostat a few degrees higher and save on cooling costs. Use in occupied rooms since fans cool people, not rooms.
  • • Turn off the air conditioning when you leave home.
  • • Be sure your air conditioner is not blocked.  A free flowing air conditioner operates most efficiently. Be sure the return air grill inside your house is not blocked by furniture or other items. Filters should be checked monthly. 
  • • When air conditioning is on, keep doors and windows closed. Turn off kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans when your air conditioning is operating.     
  • • If you suspect your air conditioning system is not cooling properly, have it checked promptly. A unit that is having operational problems can cause extremely high bills.     

Four tips to provide the greatest energy savings:

  • • Replacing an old air conditioner with a high efficiency unit. New air conditioners use up to 40% less electricity than older models.
  • • Sealing leaks in ductwork in your attic. The average home loses 15%-25% of cooling and heating through leaking ducts.
  • • Adding attic insulation to R-30. The average 15-year old home has between R-11 and R-15.
  • • Installing solar screens or on windows hit by direct sunlight. Solar screens reflect back 60%-70% of sunlight/heat before it can enter the house.