Survey reveals air-conditioning ignorance in Aust population

Thursday, 30 January, 2014

Recent heatwaves have seen Australian consumers relying heavily on their air conditioners, but recent research from LG shows that few people actually know how much their air conditioner use bumps up their electricity bill.

While 33% of respondents in the LG Air-Conditioning Survey said they know the air conditioner is one of the top three home appliances with the highest energy consumption, 90% think it only accounts for 1-30% of their energy bill.

“Over summer, if managed poorly, running your air-conditioning unit can in fact account for up to 50-60% of your energy bill. One of the simplest tips is to maintain a room temperature of 25°C during summer. Every one degree difference adds around 10% to your air conditioning running costs,” said Tim Wolfenden from energy comparison website Make It Cheaper.

More than half of those surveyed have air conditioners that are over five years old. In the last five years, the air-conditioning industry has made the switch to exclusively inverter-based units.

“Inverter air-conditioning units can be up to 30% more efficient than non-inverter-based units,” said Jennifer Osborne, home appliances marketing manager at LG Electronics. “So we would urge Australians to check the age and energy rating of their current unit and consider updating it if necessary. By investing money upfront on a more efficiently rated system you can save money in the long term.”

Wolfenden echoes Osborne’s statements: “Energy efficiency should really be the top priority these days. You might save upfront [by purchasing a less efficient unit], but it can cost you further down the road.”

The survey revealed that 29% of people leave their air conditioner on when they leave the house because they think it uses less electricity than putting it on a high setting when they get home. “This is a common mistake,” Wolfenden says. “If you leave the house, switch your unit off. If you want to save money it’s that simple.”

Every 1°C temperature change can add up to 10% of the running cost of an air-conditioning unit, LG says.

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