Most of us in Singapore are so used to sleeping in air conditioned rooms. We are so used to sleeping in a cool room that we can’t have a good night’s sleep unless the air con is switched on throughout the night. However, do note that there are many ways we can help to reduce the daily electricity consumed by the air con. In fact, a little effort on our part can help to save electricity and at the same time help save our monthly utility expenses. In addition, some of these efforts can also help to prolong the lifespan of our air con and help us save on expenses relating to aircon repair and replacement. Read on to find out how to lower your monthly electricity bill.
Tip 1: Maintain an appropriate temperature to avoid overworking the air con
- Maintain your aircon temperature at around 25 to 26 degree Celsius if possible. Note the each degree of temperature lower will have a direct impact on your monthly electric bill.
- Use your remote control to set the timer available in the fan coil to turn off the aircon half to one hour before you wake up.
- Avoid using a dehumidifier concurrently with your air conditioner on as the dehumidifier will increase the cooling load, therefore making the air conditioner work harder and consume more electricity.
Tip 2: Maintain and clean the fan coil regularly to avoid overworking the air con
The key here is to ensure that our air conditioners are working efficiently without unnecessary deterrence so that it can optimise on the energy usage and need not consume additional electricity to cool the room. Air con with dirty fan coil need additional energy to operate to produce cool air. Dirt and grime in your fan coil not only overwork your air con, it can also result in faster wear and tear of your air con, thus reducing its lifespan. Therefore, you should clean the air filter of your air con monthly as a dirty filter makes your air con work harder and increases energy consumption. Note that a clean and well maintained air con consumes lesser energy.
Tip 3: Place your condenser in an appropriate place and inspect and clean it regularly to avoid overworking the air con
- For landed property, place your condenser under shade and avoid direct sunlight. However, make sure the shades do not hinder the airflow of the condenser.
- For condenser in landed property, ensure that your outdoor unit (condenser) is cleaned regularly and free of debris such as grass and leaves or even rubbish. Clean your condenser coil regularly with a vacuum cleaner or clean it using a low pressure water to wash away the dust.
- For condenser in high rise building such as HDB or condo, use water to spray and clean your condenser coil when it is raining as this is the best time to wash your condenser coil without fear of complaints from neighbours from the lower floor.
- Inspect and check the refrigerant charge to make sure it is at an appropriate level. Note that if the gas level is above and below the required level, your aircon will not work properly and will affect the energy consumption. If you are not sure how to check the refrigerant level, engage a professional to check and adjust it to the proper level. If the refrigerant level is too low, most likely there are leakages, you need to seal up the leaking area and top up the gas to the appropriate level. Note that there is no need to top up gas on a regular basis.
Tip 4: Perform a chemical wash for your fan coil and condenser regularly to avoid overworking the air con
A chemical wash is a process which makes use of chemical solutions to get rid of stubborn dirts, grime and mould which deposit themselves deeply in any of the spots, corners and fins found on air con parts, especially the evaporator coil (also known as coiling coil), air blower and water tray of the fan coil and the condensing coil of the outdoor condensing unit. You need to dismantle the entire fan coil or condenser to perform a thorough chemical cleaning as you need to thoroughly rinse off the chemical solution used in the chemical wash.
The frequency of chemical wash is dependent on two key factors, including the environment and the extent of usage. For home use, you should at least perform a chemical wash on your air con units either once or twice a year. At the minimum, you should perform a spring cleaning on your air con units at least once a year.
Note that a dust free air con will function efficiently and consume lesser energy compared with an air con choked with dust and grime. Due to the extent of technicality involved in performing a proper chemical wash, you are advised to engage a professional aircon servicing company to help you with the chemical wash.
Tip 5: Use air conditioners that have the energy saving capability
If your air con is very old already, try to replace it with a new air con. As technology advances, newer models tend to consume lesser energy compared to the older model. For example, an inverter system can help to save up to 30% on your electricity bills compare to an older non-inverter air con. When buying new air con, take note of the energy label. An energy label with more ticks means that the air con has higher energy saving capabilities as it consume lower electricity.
Tip 6: Use air con of the right size
Buy the right size of air con for your room. Do not buy an air con with a capacity that is higher than required for the room size as the higher the cooling capacity, the higher is the energy consumption. In addition, if the cooling capacity is too high, the room will be too cold for comfort.
Tip 7: Install the air con properly at an appropriate location
Make sure the air con system is installed with a proper gradient. Improperly installed unit will not function efficiently. For new installation, it is advisable to choose a cooler wall to install your fan coil unit. Avoid installing your fan coil unit near any electrical appliances that produce heat, eg. A television, lamp or light as these heat transfer can cause interference with the thermostat, resulting in a need for your air con to work harder to cool the room.