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How To Save Money On Air-Conditioner?

Updated on November 4, 2015

List of points discussed

(1) Selection and purchase of an appropriate model of air conditioner

(1 A) Selection of model based on its tonnage capacity
(1 B) Selection of model based on star rating
(1 C) Selection between window model and split model
(1 D) Selection of an inverter model

(2) Providing proper insulation

(2 A) Insulation of inner walls and ceiling of the room
(2 B) Insulation of the windows and doors
(2 C) Insulation of outer walls and terrace of the room

(3) Installation skills

(3 A) Installation of indoor unit
(3 B) Installation of outdoor unit

(4) Setting of temperature

(5) Miscellaneous points

(1 A) How Tonnage Capacity of Air Conditioner Can Affect Our Economy?

The air conditioner machines of various tonnage capacities are available in the market.

For example: 1 ton A/C, 1.5 ton A/C, 2 ton A/C etc.

Which one is best for our purpose?

As we know tonnage capacity is not a measure to provide quantity of cooling, but it is a measure regarding speed to provide cooling.

Both 1 ton and 1.5 ton A/C can bring down the temperature of room to the desired level, say 230 C. But 1.5 ton unit will achieve this temperature faster.

In order to save money, it is desirable to wait for couple of minutes more after switching the unit on.

As we know a model with higher tonnage capacity is always costlier, do not select a model with unnecessary higher tonnage capacity, unless you need immediate cooling.

This will save significant amount of your money on initial cost of the unit.

In short selection of model having proper tonnage capacity will save initial costing.

(1 B) How Star Rating of Air Conditioner can affect our economy?

Nowadays, air conditioners are available with different star rating.

For example: 2 star A/C, 3 star A/C, 5 star A/c etc.

What is star rating?

It is the indication regarding electrical consumption by the unit.

The air conditioner with higher star rating is costlier but consumes less electricity, while that with lower star rating is comparatively cheaper but consumes more electricity.

It is worth to spend more money for higher star rating, because it will save money for years to come.

However, this also depends upon usage. If your usage is less (say for 1 or 2 hours a day), it is better to select model with lower star rating, because in such case additional money spent for higher rating can not be compensated by less usage.

But if your usage is more (say for 12 or 20 hours a day), it is better to select model with higher star rating, because in such a case the additional money spent for higher rating can be compensated by more usage.

(1 C) What is the difference between Window A/C and Split A/C?

Nowadays, both window as well as split models of air-conditioners are available in market.

Which one is more appropriate?

(A) In window model, both compressor as well as cooling coil is fitted in one unit. Due to this:

(1) There is no "loss of cooling" between compressor part and cooling coil part. Hence this model consumes less energy.

(2) It must be understood that noise comes from compressor part and not from cooling coil part. In window model compressor remains closer to room hence it makes a little more noise as compared to split model.

(B) In split model, compressor and cooling coil are fitted in two different units out of which cooling coil is installed inside the room while compressor part is installed outside the room. Due to this there is an additional distance between compressor part and room. Due to this:

(1) Split model is costlier than window model

(2) A considerable energy loss takes place between two units. Hence this model consumes higher energy.

(3) As compressor remains away and out of the room, it makes a negligible noise.

In order to save money, it is desirable to compromise with little noise. This means purchase of a window model is an economical choice.

However, in case a room having no wall facing the open atmosphere, there is no scope of window air-conditioner, split model is only the option here.

Window Model is Cheaper Than Split Model

Window model is smaller because both compressor as well as cooling coil are fitted in the same unit.
Window model is smaller because both compressor as well as cooling coil are fitted in the same unit. | Source
Indoor unit of split model.
Indoor unit of split model. | Source
Outdoor unit of split model.
Outdoor unit of split model. | Source

(1 D) Choice of Inverter model of A/C can save 50% electricity

What is special about inverter model of A/C?

An inverter is a device that:

(a) Changes the frequency of an electric current

(b) Changes a direct current (D. C. current) into an alternating current (A. C. current)

(c) Works in exactly opposite manner to that of a "rectifier",

(d) Can convert D. C. current into A. C. current of varying voltage!

This allows the compressor to run with lesser speed. This also allows the gas to pass slowly which ensures minimum power consumption.

By this advance technology, about 50% electrical consumption can be reduced compared to normal air-conditioner.

However, initial cost of an inverter air conditioner is much higher, but it can be compensated if usage is more.

The normal air conditioner, maintains the desired temperature by frequent starting and stopping (on and off) the compressor.

Unlike this, an inverter air conditioner maintains the temperature by controlling the speed of compressor!

By this, the flow of refrigerant gas is also controlled, which results in massive power saving!

Due to frequent on and off, the normal air conditioning unit can not maintain the temperature of room at a constant value, but can maintain it at an average. This means, if temperature is set to 250 C (means 770 F), the normal unit will maintain it between say 230 C and 270 C.

However, an inverter unit by controlling the speed of compressor can maintain it very close to 250 C!

When we start an inverter air conditioner, its compressor runs very fast, so that refrigerant gas also runs very fast so as to achieve the desired temperature early. But, after achieving the desired temperature compressor runs with a negligible speed, just to maintain the temperature. This ensures fast cooling and fixed temperature at minimum power consumption!

Maximum cooling efficiency, minimum power consumption!

(2) Providing proper insulation

The room fitted with air conditioner is cool from inside but outer weather is hot.

Hence proper care should be taken to avoid mixing of outer hot air with inner cool air.

This is known as insulation of room.

For this all the walls, windows, doors, ceiling and terrace should be insulated.

How to provide proper insulation is discussed in following paragraph.

(2 A) Insulating walls and ceiling

The cooling achieved inside the room is achieved at some cost. Hence if it escapes from the room it will be a loss.

Only properly insulated inner linings can stop the cooling from escaping.

In order to provide the efficient inner insulation:

(a) Cover all the walls with either wooden linings or with polymer linings. If this is not convenient, cover them just with a curtain of cloth.

(b) If your ceiling faces open sky, means it is heated with direct sunlight then special care must be taken to insulate it.

For this, provide a false ceiling made of thermostatic material.

Providing Inner Insulation.

Covering inside walls with wooden sheet will stop loss of cooling.
Covering inside walls with wooden sheet will stop loss of cooling. | Source
Provision of false ceiling made up of insulating material will: (1) stop inside cooling going outside and also (2) stop outside heat coming inside.
Provision of false ceiling made up of insulating material will: (1) stop inside cooling going outside and also (2) stop outside heat coming inside. | Source

(2 B) Insulating Windows and Doors

The inside cooling of room obtained by air conditioner may also escape through windows and doors of the room.

To insulate windows and doors, following care should be taken.

(a) Ensure that all the windows are tightly closed so that outside hot air can not enter in the room.

If your windows are made up of glass, cover the glass with some thick thermostatic material.

If this is not convenient, just paint the glass with a dark color. However, if your windows are made up of wood, no need to take any extra care because wood itself is insulator.

(b) Frequent opening of room may cause significant loss of cooling. To avoid this, install air curtain. Due to continuous flow of air by this device, only negligible cooling will escape from the room.

(2 C) Outer Insulation of the room is equally important

The room may be insulated from outside taking following two measures:

(a) To stop heat entering from terrace, apply white glaze tiles on entire terrace. If this is not convenient, apply luminous white paint on terrace. This will reflect the sunlight and keep the terrace cool.

(b) The outer walls of room may also absorb infrared radiation of heat, either from direct sunlight or from hot surrounding. To avoid this, apply luminous white paint on outer surface of all walls.

(3) Proper Installation of Unit May Also Save Money

How to install the air conditioner? Skillful installation of A/C can save your money.

Following tips will help to achieve this.

Installation tips for window model:

(1) Select such area of your room, which is away from door and nearer to your sitting or sleeping area. Installation of unit at this place will give you more cooling.

(2) The unit should be fitted at such place so that its outer portion remains in shadow for longer time of the day. It should not face direct sunlight for longer period of the day.

(3) Select the height for installation such that, as far as possible, the unit remains closer to the floor. This will avoid unnecessary cooling of upper portion of room which is never used by you.

Installation tips for split model:

There are two sub-units in split model:

(1) Inner unit containing cooling coil and

(2) Outer unit containing compressor.

Both the units may be installed considering some special points.

(3 A) The Most Suitable Location for Indoor Unit

While installing indoor unit, following care must be taken:

(1) It should not be in front of any opening like door. This will protect loss of cooling on frequent door opening.

(2) It should be installed at proper height.

To decide the height for installation of indoor unit, keep two scientific criteria in mind:

(a) The cold air, due to its heavier characteristic, will remain closer to the floor. Hence, the lowest area of room will start becoming cool first, then area above it, and so on.

This means the upper area of room will be cooled at last.

(b) The temperature sensor is fitted on indoor unit, hence,

"The height of unit is also the height of temperature sensor fitted on unit!"

For example: If the unit is fitted at a height of 9 feet, the temperature sensor can stop the running of unit only when the cool air gradually reaches at this height.

Generally, our activities are confined up to the height of 6 feet hence cooling of additional 3 feet of height is meaningless because it will result in economic loss.

Instead, if the unit is installed at some compromising height, say 7 feet, it will stop the running of unit earlier.

This will save money spent on cooling unnecessary area of the room.

In short, it is better to stop the unit when the room has achieved coolness up to a usable height. It is meaningless to cool the room up to its highest level!

This means, keeping personal convenience in mind, indoor unit should be installed as close as possible to the floor of the room.

This will reduce the expense spent on cooling upper part of the room which you never use.

(3 B) The Most Suitable Location for Outdoor Unit

Remember, "the heat emitted from the room = cooling gained by the room!"

As such, "more easily the heat can be emitted from outdoor unit more readily the cooling can be obtained within the room."

This means, the outdoor unit should be installed at such a place, from where it can easily emit the heat to the surrounding. To make this possible it is advisable to install the outdoor unit considering the following points:

(a) It should be installed in a shadow so that it does not face direct sunlight, or it should be installed such that it faces the sunlight for a minimum period of the day.

(b) If all the external walls are facing sunlight and it is not possible to find a place of shadow, it is advisable to construct artificial partition to provide shadow to outer unit.

This will facilitate emission of heat, which will in turn result in gaining of cooling inside the room.

(4) Setting of Proper Temperature and Fan-Speed Can Save Money?

Yes, definitely.

Setting of both temperature and fan speed will save your money as explained below:

(A) Setting of proper temperature results in:

(1) Saving on health:

The air conditioner unit comes with facility to select the temperature of your convenience. This facility automatically starts and stops to maintain the desired temperature.

If you set a temperature too low, the unit will run longer to achieve and maintain this temperature.

Though, it solely depends upon your personal convenience to decide the most suitable temperature for you, please bear in mind that too low temperature may cause some ailments like: cold, headache, etc.

(2) Saving on electricity bill:

Setting too low temperature may allow cooling to escape from the room in the form of dropping water outside.

Have you seen water dropping from the indoor unit?

Have you touched this water dropping from air-conditioner?

If you touch it, you will experience that it is too cool!

What does it mean?

It means that, cooling is escaping from the room!

This can be explained as:

The air inside the room contains some moisture which is necessary for health. When this moist air passes through the cooling coil, due to excessive cooling of the coil, moisture is converted either into cold water or into ice.

♣ If it is converted into cold water, it will drop out from the room as soon as it is formed, through the outlet pipe provided.

♣ If it is converted into ice, it will drop out from the room as soon as the unit stops operating.

Both of above cases will result in economic loss.

We can not allow the cooling obtained by expending money to escape thus!

What can be done?

Following two remedial measures may be taken to stop or minimize such loss:

(a) Adjust the temperature to some higher value to stop excessive cooling of the coil.

(b) Set the fan-speed to some higher level, to reduce the contact time of moist air with cooling coil.

In this way, setting the temperature and the fan-speed little higher, you can save your money!

(5) Miscellaneous Points to Remember

Following miscellaneous points may also be considered, as they may also help to save money:

(1) As far as possible, select the furniture inside the room made up of wood or polymer.

As it will not absorb or emit any heat, no energy will be consumed to cool it.

In case some steel furniture is selected, some cooling of room will be utilized to lower its temperature as well which is not desirable.

(2) Cover all non usable spaces (like empty space below the table or bed etc.) of room with curtain or appropriate partition. This will save money spent on cooling of such portion of room which you never use.

(3) Avoid frequent opening of door. Use of air curtain may help.

(However, it is necessary to ensure that fresh air should enter the room periodically).

(4) Avoid using heating devices like microwave or heater inside this room.

(5) To ensure the required flow of air clean the air-filter of unit occasionally.

(6) Avoid unnecessary running of a ceiling fan.

This will push upper hot air towards cold area of flooring, resulting in extra functioning of unit, which is a loss.

Which Type of Furniture is Beneficial to You?

Use wooden furniture inside your room, and enjoy savings!
Use wooden furniture inside your room, and enjoy savings! | Source
Use steel furniture inside your room, and pay every moment to keep it cool!
Use steel furniture inside your room, and pay every moment to keep it cool! | Source

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