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Tips to use AC efficiently, save on power bills

Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 12:48 PM
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ACs are turning out to be like any other general consumer durable in all homes. But it is better to know how to use them before buying. Otherwise, your power bills will blow up. You need not feel surprised if it is thousands of rupees. Look at some of the tips on how to use your AC efficiently and save on power bills.

Keep the filters clean
AC filters have to be cleaned at least once a week. The breeze will reach the coils freely when the filters are clean. As such, the room is cooled quickly and power is saved.

representational imageCooling the room
Many factors influence this. Room dimensions, window width, glass, flooring, directions like East or West, other items like TV, fridge, computer in the room all play a part. Also, the measures taken to prevent more heat from entering into the room, the number of people in the room, etc, play a part in deciding the duration of cooling.

representational imageCeiling fan
Many people switch on ceiling fan, besides the AC. They believe that the coolness will spread all over the room. But because of the ceiling fan, the hot air comes down through the roof. This requires more cooling. Moreover, the dust in the room spreads all over, when the ceiling fan is switched on. It settles on the AC filters. It is better to use table fan, instead of ceiling fan. Or ceiling fan should be regulated to one. The room where the AC is fixed should be mopped with a wet cloth daily.

Do not switch on, off frequently
The power bill blows up, even if the AC is switched on and off frequently. Instead, set the AC at 25-27 degrees constantly. This ensures adequate cooling, due to near even temperatures in the room. If the AC is switched off, the coolness is gone. When it is switched on once again, the compressor has to work double hard to cool the room once again. This consumes more power. That is why now inverter technology has come into use. In this, the compressor works continuously though at a less speed, needing low power.

representational imageHow much room temperature
Do not close and open doors often. Whenever the door opens, warm air enters inside. As such, AC has to work for a longer time to cool the room.
  • Split AC is better than a window AC. Because, hot air is light and reaches the ceiling. In Split AC, the unit is fixed at the top, just under the ceiling, helping it to cool the air faster.Choose an AC that uses less power. Take note of the power input before buying the AC. Generally, a tonne of AC, with 5 star rating, will use 930 to 980 units.
  • The indoor unit of the AC should be as close as possible to the outdoor unit (compressor). Check for proper insulation of the connecting tubes.
  • AC should be set up in the centre of the room. For example, in a 12/18 room, the AC unit should be fixed at the centre of the 18 ft. wall, so that the coolness is spread evenly all over the room.
  • It is not wise to set the thermostat 16 degrees as soon as the AC is switched on and then increase the temperature. This will lead to more power consumption. It is a better idea to set it at an even temperature and let it remain for a long time. It will take some time for the room to cool, though.
  • Make sure that there are no leakages through windows or doors. If there are glass windows, use curtains to cover. This will prevent more heat from entering the room.
  • Power can be saved by sealing the rooftop.
  • If there is no floor above, use coolsem coating, to prevent heat from coming down.
  • Buy an AC that has more capacity to cool than the room. For example, instead of one tonne AC, buy 1.5 tonne and set the cooling at 26 degrees.
How the AC is working
You know that AC gives cool breeze. It is not produced from anywhere. The hot air in the room is sent through the evaporator coils and released back again after cooling.

Thermostat
Thermostat in the AC will send signals to the compressor, based on the settings. The compressor will function until the required coolness is achieved in the room. The lesser the settings, the more load on the compressor. As such power consumption is more. The room cools faster at 25 degrees, rather than at 18 degrees. This also reduces power consumption. Power consumption is more, if you use the quick cool option.

representational imageCompressor stops
The compressor stops as soon as the required temperature is reached. Later, only the fan in AC functions. This also reduces power consumption. Once the temperature increases, the compressor begins working. It is the only part of the AC that uses the most power. If the difference in the temperatures in the room and outside is more, AC consumes more power. Olden type ACs did not have thermostat. There were options of low, medium and high. Depending on the requirement of coolness in the room, you would need to keep changing the options.

It is advisable to keep the cooling between 25 to 27 degrees to save on power. As such, the room cools as well as the power bills are less. If you set it at 18 degrees, the compressor will keep working until the temperature falls to that level. This leads to more power consumption. Imagine how hard the compressor has to work to bring down the temperature to 20 degrees, while it is 40 degrees outside. That is why power consumption is more during that time. You can save on power by setting the temperature at a little above 24 degrees.
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