Depending on where you are in Australia, it’s either just starting to heat up or your air conditioner has been getting a serious workout since October.
Either way, it’s never too late to learn a ridiculously simple hack that could save you hundreds of dollars on your electricity bill without impacting your comfort level.
When we say simple, we mean it, but stay with us: simple doesn’t mean it’s not also very clever.
As Tony Crabb, national head of research at real estate services firm Savills Australia, explains in his 2016 TEDx talk, if we just adjusted our temperature settings, we’d save hundreds, and eventually, thousands of dollars.
His suggestion? Just set your air con to 25C in summer and 19C in winter. This means going against the urge to set it to 22 degrees, which has become accepted as the best room temperature pretty much everywhere.
Crabb argues that if Aussie businesses, in particular, swapped to this rule, they could save a combined $100 million and 300,000 tonnes of carbon every year.
Listen: Monique tested a simple way to save cash. (Post continues after audio.)
He explains that our obsession with 22 degrees is costly and wasteful and doesn’t take into account individual’s differences in size and sensitivity to cold.
“The built environment is heated and cooled to a fixed 22 degrees regardless of the temperature outside,” he said during his TEDx presentation.
“It turns out, that’s the thermal comfort level of a 44-year-old man. It was decided by the Americans in the 1950s, and it’s been that way ever since.”
Last time we checked, we had little in common with a 44-year-old man, so it’s certainly worth giving this 19C/25C rule a go.
And you could save even more money by turning your air con off when you’re not at home.
Again, it sounds simple, but here are the facts. New research from comparison website finder.com.au shows together Aussie’s waste $1.3 billion keeping houses cool while no one is at home.
The research shows more than 2.3 million households waste about 4.1 hours per day in energy by leaving their air conditioning running when they’re not at home and this adds an average of $578 to their quarterly bill. Just think about how many Golden Gaytimes $578 could get you.
So it’s worth it to spend a couple seconds turning off and on your air conditioning unit rather than setting and forgetting this summer.