Using Your Air Conditioner Efficiently  – In my younger years when I first went to work in Moranbah, which is an inland mining town in Queensland,

I had luckily arrived before my furniture was sent from Brisbane. Because I arrived when the temperatures were well into their 40s, I immediately phoned my mother and asked her to go into town and buy the biggest window mounted air conditioner she could find and have the removalists include it with the rest of my stuff.

When it arrived I mounted it and had the best night’s sleep I had had for some time. A very hot day is frequently hard to tolerate but trying to sleep on a very hot night is an entirely different drama altogether.

Decades later our home, located an hour or so north of Brisbane has one air-conditioner. It is a split system located in our bedroom and gets used very rarely. Over the last 20 years we have had the occasional hot spell and “in the olden days” have had the kids and our little dog all in our room with the doors closed and sealed at the bottom.

The cold air is denser and therefore heavier and falls to the floor and is easily lost under the doors. Air-conditioned rooms should be as sealed and airtight as they can possibly be. The least amount of traffic in or out of the room reduces the amount of work the air-conditioner has to do and an open cat door is the natural enemy of an air-conditioner’s efficiency.

During one exceptionally hot summer back in Moranbah I visited a friend’s place who was running a large split system air-conditioner and also a mobile evaporative cooler at the same time in the same room.

Inside his home was a lot hotter than it was outside so I took the time to explain that he would be better off with one or the other and I suggested the air-conditioning was much better. The area is hot and usually dry so evaporative coolers work well but an air conditioner is much better.

The water from an evaporative cooler collects the latent heat from the air and so an open room allowing the humidity and therefore the heat to leave is best. An air-conditioner is a heat exchange unit like a refrigerator so keep those doors closed. An airconditioned room should be kept as sealed as possible to restrict hot air from entering the room and the cold air falling out. An evaporative cooler on the other hand puts water into the air which collects this latent heat. As the humidity increases it should be vented through open windows taking the heat out of the house.

Evaporative coolers work best in dry environments more frequently found inland. The word latent is the Latin word for hidden. An extreme example of latent heat in water would be steam. Steam carries a lot of energy as heat so it’s not in your best interest to leave the kettle boiling with steam increasing the ambient temperature in the room on a hot summer’s day. Quite simply, if you are using an evaporative cooler, leave the windows open with as much air movement as you can get. If you are using an air-conditioner, then keep the room as airtight as possible.

I have another experience which I have used what I gain from it and that was during a family reunion backing 1999 when we traveled down to Victoria we stayed in a family cabin. It was summer time and it was hot summer we put the air-conditioner on in the room. The air-conditioner made little change if any so, without permission,

Would you like to know the #1 best way to reduce your electricity bill by around
10% regardless of whether you rent or own and you can start implementing it tonight.
The power companies won’t tell you this one >>>LEARN MORE>>>

I removed the air cleaner and washed it out in the shower. It was completely blocked and I’m sure had been for a very long time. I have done that numerous occasions since especially in mid-range of Asian accommodation. I would think this should be part of a very basic maintenance program.

If you have an air-conditioner in your home is in your best interest to have a clean filter which is easily removed cleaned and replaced.

This can simply be done at the end of the hot season in readiness for next time or more frequently if it gets used quite a lot. The filters pick up tiny particulates from the air which accumulate over time and need to be removed for your air-conditioner to function economically. If you ever need an air-conditioner on you really want it working as efficiently as possible.

John Lynn
Suburban Off Grid Living