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8 tips on how to save energy with air-conditioning

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In Brazil, in October 2015, the cost of energy spiked by 49.03%, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. This led to a significant increase in the living cost of Brazilians, which goes to show that saving energy is always a priority in any home. The use of air conditioners is often the reason behind inflated energy bills, but Brazil is hot most of the year and it is impossible to live without cooling systems. Hence, smart energy-saving tips are a must to follow. Whether you already have an AC or planning to buy one, the following tips will help you save energy sufficiently. Read on to know more.

Pick the right machine

Choosing an AC machine based only on the price or looks is not very wise. You need to make sure that it is ideal for the room in question, and calculate the amount of power it will consume to cool the concerned environment. Take into account the number of people who will occupy the room usually, the number of electronic devices present there, and amount of sun exposure the room gets before calculating the ambient footage for the air conditioner. Consider the presence of blinds and curtains as well, or use a BTU calculator before buying the perfect AC.

Types of ACs and prices

Once you zero in on the type of AC you need, it will be easy to gauge the price you have to pay and if it will suit your budget. While an energy-saving model might cost a bit more in the beginning, but save on energy bills in the future, an inexpensive model might result in higher electricity bills later. A split air conditioner might range from Rs. 14,500 to Rs. 36,000 on average, but the price doesn’t cover installation and maintenance charges. So, take a look at how much maintenance will be required and where the AC will be positioned, before your purchase.

You can consider portable air conditioners too, if you don’t wish to spend much on maintenance. They can start from Rs. 14,500 upwards and the price will also depend on how much cooling the AC can offer and if it can produce hot air when needed.

Deciding on a model

You need to understand the different models of air conditioners before you actually purchase one. For instance, portable ACs are easier to manage, cheaper and simpler to maintain. But these are not ideal for cooling big spaces and can consume more energy than fixed models.

Conventional window ACs are cheaper than split models or portable ones, and hence quite appealing. They make more noise too, but if the windows in your home already have provision for installing such ACs, it’s worth trying.  

Split air conditioners are the most popular these days, and are quiet and cost-effective. With this kind of AC, one component will be inside the room and the other outside. The installation cost might be a little higher than window ACs, but the benefits are significant too. This cool bedroom was rendered by the architects at Hecher Yllana Arquitetos.

Check out the ducts

Examining the ducts is mandatory before AC installation, though most new homes are built accordingly. This will also make it easy for you to clean the ducts and ensure that your conditioner functions well. It will also ensure healthy indoor air quality.

Close openings and use blinds

Make sure that you close all doors and windows and draw the blinds shut when the AC is on. There should not be any draft in the room and sun exposure should be minimal. Thus, the machine won’t have to work harder, pushing up the utility bills.

Organize furniture smartly

How the furniture pieces in a room are arranged can affect the working of the air conditioner. So install the AC away from curtains and the highest and most open spot you can find. Cool air travels downwards and shouldn’t be hindered by anything on the way.

Avoid positioning the AC in a place that offers cooling to only one corner or furniture like bed. Consult a professional in such cases, to get the best advice.

The right temperature

There is no single correct temperature on which your AC machine should run. It totally depends on the location of your house, your country and city, and the amount of sun exposure. So, choose a temperature which is comfortable for everybody in your family.

Be economical

Avoid leaving the AC on when no one is there in a room. These machines don’t take long to cool the environment, and there is really no need to switch them on before people actually enter the room. Make sure that you and your family never leave windows or doors open. This will go a long way in saving energy bills.

Take another tour - Reduce noise: 6 Tips for a quiet home

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