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Blog

Air conditioning FAQs

Posted on Friday, October 31, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about air conditioning

What is the optimal temperature to set my thermostat to?

The ideal temperate to cool your home is 25–27°C. Temperatures lower than this can increase running costs by 15% and also increase the risk of breakdowns.

How do I estimate the running costs of a new air conditioner?

You think you have decided on an air conditioner but you want to know what the actual running costs will be when you install it. This will of course depend on the size of the unit, how much you plan to use it and how much your electricity costs. So gather the following data points;

  • The power input figure in kW (The power input of a system can be found on its energy rating sticker.)
  • Your local energy cost in kWh (kilowatt hours)

Simply multiply the power input by the energy cost and you have the running cost in cents per hour.

For example this Panasonic S-100PE1R5 U-100PE1R5 reverse cycle air conditioner has a power input of 2.98 and for the sake of this example energy costs in the area are 25 cents per kilowatt hour.

Running cost = 2.98 X 25 = 74.5 cents per hour

You can then workout how many hours a week you might use the air conditioner on average and multiply it by the running costs for a total average cost.


How can I calculate how much I'm spending on air conditioning?

Gather your electricity bills, compare a month you don’t use your air conditioner (or heater) to those which you do. April and October are typically months you wouldn’t be using either heating or cooling. Subtract one of those values (or an average of the two) from an average of the summer month bills, what is left is an estimate of how much you spend on air conditioning.

Is it more efficient to run air conditioning in bursts or leave it on for a longer period of time?

Your air conditioner removes both heat and moisture from your house. It can take up to 10 minutes for a unit to remove moisture and reach its peak efficiency, so using your air conditioner for short bursts of cooling isn’t getting the most from the system. Not to mention stopping and starting an air conditioning system puts stress on it. 

Should I leave internal doors open while using the air conditioner?

It is best to leave the internal doors of your home open while operating the air conditioner. Air conditioning systems are designed to move a specific amount of air throughout the house. Keeping internal doors closed increases the air pressure in those rooms and the air then has to escape under the door, through leaks around the windows and skirtings etc. this air is then replaced by warm air from similar cracks and gaps in other rooms.

What size air conditioner do I need?

Try using this cooling calculator to work out what size air conditioning unit you need. Otherwise just call into Gas Works and talk to one of our friendly team to find the best unit for you, or you can get an online quote when you find the product you like!

What maintenance does my air conditioner require?

Evaporative coolers require flushing occasionally, the pads must be changed when they begin to show signs of decay. Evaporative air conditioners also need the water distribution cleaned to avoid the pads drying out, which will lead to reduced cooling. To find out more speak to your local Gas Works about maintenance. 

Reverse cycle and refrigerated air conditioners require cleaning of the return air filters, this will avoid efficiency issues caused by dust. The condenser (outside radiator) should be kept dust free with unobstructed air flow. The inside unit should be wiped down at regular intervals to avoid gathering dust. Your local Gas Works can help you maintain your air conditioner, give us a call today.


If you’re looking for clear and simple information on ways to save money and energy visit YourEnergySavings.gov.au or come into your local Gas Works where we can help you choose the more energy efficient air conditioning option for your home.

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