Australians need to pay attention to the summer bills because they can easily skyrocket with expensive cooling costs.
Australians need to pay attention to the summer bills because they can easily skyrocket with expensive cooling costs.

The cheapest ways to cool your home

SKYROCKETING energy bills during the summer months can leave households battling exorbitant bills just to keep cool.

Using ducted airconditioners is the most expensive way to escape the heat, instead of turning on a fan for a much lower cost.

New figures from financial services firm Canstar show ducted airconditioners can cost up to $3.45 per hour to run, compared with one to two cents to use a ceiling or pedestal fan.

Canstar spokesman Simon Downes said there were many variables that impacted the cost of keeping cool, including the energy efficiency of devices, speed settings and power costs.

"When it comes to summer power bills it's all about conscious cooling," he said.

"You could easily double your power bill or even more, quarter on quarter, if you let your aircon usage get out of control.

"If you've just installed ducted airconditioning for summer you can expect some serious bill shock."

Mr Downes said people concerned about costs should stick to using ceiling and pedestal fans and only use airconditioning as a treat for a couple of hours a day.

Origin spokesman Stuart Osbourne said there were simple ways to reduce your energy costs without working up a sweat.

"Setting your air conditioner to 24 degrees on hot days can save you energy, as every degree below that uses 5 per cent more energy," he said.

"Try to keep your home cool by shading the outside of your home from direct sunlight, or consider double-glazed windows which can exclude up to 40 per cent of heat entering your home compared to standard clear glass."

Energy comparison site iSelect surveyed 1000 Australians and found that this summer:

• 71 per cent are worried about their summer energy bill.

• 72 per cent said their energy bills had increased over the past two years.

• 50 per cent plan to use their air conditioner less.

• Only 18 per cent will shop around and review their energy plan.

ISelect spokeswoman Laura Crowden said while reducing energy consumption could help customers save, reviewing energy costs was also important.

She said practical ways to save included closing windows, doors, curtains and blinds during the morning until a cool change arrived. And use a clothes line - not a dryer - in the warmer weather.


Cooling type Hourly running cost Cost over three months
Ducted whole house airconditioning $2.45 - $3.45 $882 - $1242
Portable air conditioner 45c - 55c $162 - $198
Split-system air conditioner 25c - 35c $90 - $126
Ceiling fan 1c - 2c $3.60 - $7.20
Pedestal fan 1c - 2c $3.60 - $7.20
Desk fan 1c $3.60

Source: Based on electricity usage at charge of 35c/kWh, three-month usage based on four-hour usage per day over 90 days.