How much does air conditioning cost each month?

The surprising breakdown of appliance running costs

While the idea of super-cooling your home remains an appealing proposition to many Australians, the first question you may ask is: “How much will air conditioning cost me?” We’ve crunched some numbers and come up with an answer for those sweating the potential jolt to their electricity bill.

According to Canstar Blue research published in 2015, Australian households spend an average of $239 each month on electricity in summer. Victorians were left the most out of pocket, spending an eye-watering $292 per month – $53 more than the national average.

When we receive a steep power bill, the number one suspect is often the air conditioner. In fact, the Australians we surveyed estimate an average 24% of their power bill is attributable to cooling appliances alone. But is this accurate?

In a separate study conducted by Sustainability Victoria, the cost of running cooling appliances was examined:

Room size Suitable cooler type Energy star rating Annual energy cost*
Small room (10 square metres) Electric split system air conditioner (2.5 kW output) 2.5 blue $34.00
5 stars blue $27.00
Portable or ceiling fan N/A $4.00 – $6.00
Medium room (35 square metres) Electric split system air conditioner (5.5 kW output) 1.5 blue $74.00
3 stars blue $86.00
Portable or ceiling fan N/A $4.00 – $6.00
Large area (60 square metres) Electric split system air conditioner (8 kW output) 1.5 blue $125.00
3 stars blue $108.00
Two portable or ceiling fans N/A $9.00 – $12.00
Whole house (166 square metres) Ducted air conditioning (20kW, not zoned) Standard efficiency $383.00
High efficiency $349.00
Ducted air conditioning (20kW, zoned) Standard efficiency $287.00
High efficiency $262.00
Evaporative cooling (16kW) Standard $54.00
Inverter $37.00
Four portable or ceiling fans N/A $19.00 – $24.00

Table sourced from Sustainability Victoria. Below disclaimer taken verbatim from source.

*Approximate cost per annum, based on 300 hours usage and a 60% duty cycle for air conditioners. Based on electricity tariff of 28c/kWh. Evaporative coolers will also use water.

So, at its most expensive, air conditioning can cost as much as $32 a month. At it’s least, $2.25 per month.

There are other things to consider when it comes to whether or not you should invest in air conditioning, such as the initial purchase and installation costs, and ongoing maintenance, However, perhaps it’s time for you to do a budget and see if there’s an appropriate cooling solution for your home. If so, find a better brand for your home with our air conditioner ratings based on customer satisfaction.

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