Beat the heat this summer without breaking the bank

Jan 02, 2023
Keeping your airconditioning unit in tip-top shape is a great way to conserve energy and lower those monthly bills. Source: Getty Images.

As summer kicks in, not only are temperatures rising but so are the potential costs that come with running the air conditioner around the clock to beat the heat.

In order to avoid a nasty shock when opening that next power bill, Starts at 60 spoke to those in the know to find the most effective ways to stay cool this summer without breaking the bank.

General Manager of Customer Care at Origin Energy, Jan Prichard suggests using the “aircon to cool down single rooms instead of the whole house” and provided the following helpful tips to save on reducing aircon bills costs and suggested updating your aircon.

“Running an older aircon unit could be costing you more than you think and it may be worth investing in a newer model. When purchasing a new reverse cycle air-conditioner, check the energy star rating and make sure that you get the right-sized unit for the room you are looking to heat or cool. The more energy-efficient your heating and cooling solution, the less hard your system has to work, and the less it will cost you,” she said.

    • Make sure your aircon is in good shape – since it’s likely you’ll be using a reverse-cycle unit year-round, it’s important to make sure it’s working efficiently.
    • The temperature you set can make a big difference to your bill – even on those super-hot days, it’s best to set your aircon to a minimum of 24°C. Each degree under that uses 5% more energy.
    • Use ceiling fans instead of aircon on days with maximum temperatures between 28°C and 30°C.
    • On hot days, you could try using your aircon for an hour less to save more.
    • Install ceiling insulation to absorb or reflect between 30-45% of heat entering your home.
    • Double glaze windows and doors to reduce up to 40% of heat entering your home compared to standard glass.
    • Shade your home to keep it out of direct sunlight in summer.


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Keeping your airconditioning unit in tip-top shape is another way to conserve energy and lower those monthly bills. As Director of Proven Energy, Peter Sutrin, who is also an electrician and a qualified air conditioning installer, points out, “regular maintenance will ensure that the system continues to perform efficiently and cool your house, without working harder and costing more”.

Co-founder at Smart Energy, Jasper Boyschau, also suggests performing regular checkups on your air conditioner to ensure not only the best performance but also to lower nonessential energy use.

“The air-conditioning unit can feel like your best friend during the hot summer months, and now is the perfect time to check up on it before those 40 degree days arrive,” he said. “Cleaning your clogged filter can save you up to 15% in energy use, which in turn lowers your electricity bills. Regularly maintaining your air-con is integral to ensuring it lasts as long as possible, avoiding heavy replacement costs down the track.”

Boyschau also suggests going green when it comes to saving on energy costs and harnessing the power of the sun.

“Switching to solar power is one of the easiest ways to avoid costly power bills,” he said.“We have the perfect conditions for solar power in Australia, especially through the sunnier months.”

What methods do you have for saving money on power bills?

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