Air Conditioning: How Much Does It Cost to Run?

Air Conditioning: How Much Does It Cost to Run? 

Australia can experience extreme summers that, as much as we enjoy the outdoors, we would also want to stay comfortable inside our homes with our air conditioners on full blast. But when that happens, we can also expect our electricity bills to go higher than expected.  A recent survey revealed that 32% of respondents believe air conditioning is the most significant contributor to their electricity bills. But how much exactly does it cost to run your air conditioning? 


The cost of running air conditioning for cooling 

When calculating air conditioner cost, you need to keep a few factors in mind, including the type of air conditioning you’re using, the size of the room, and, of course, the hours of usage each day. Based on these, we crunched up some numbers: 

The annual average cost of running a reverse cycle air conditioner is between $23 and $300, depending on your location and the size of the room where the air conditioner is placed. 

 A regular room that measures 20 to 40 square meters would cost between $46 and $215 a year to cool, while a bigger space that measures around 40 to 60 square meters would cost between $64 and $300 to cool in a year. These costs are based on the usage of a reverse-cycle air conditioner. 

 If you’re using a whole ducted house reverse cycle air conditioner, the air conditioner cost would be much higher than a regular air conditioner because it would cost you between $196 and $817 to run annually.  

 Remember that these numbers will vary depending on where you’re in Australia because of the climate zone. For instance, if you’re cooling a medium-sized room with a 3-5kW AC system, you can expect to pay $103.94 in Brisbane (hot), $41.14 in Sydney (average) and $23.22 in Melbourne (cold).  


The cost of running air conditioning for heating 

Since most air conditioners also work to warm a room during the cooler months, it’s also essential to know how much you will spend running an air conditioner for heating. Again, this will depend on the size of the room and your location: 

  • You’ll spend between $11 and $500 a year on reverse-cycle air conditioning. If you’re using a ducted whole-house reverse cycle air conditioning system, you should be prepared to pay between $62 and $1,244 annually.  
  • If you’re heating a medium-sized room that measures 20 to 40 square meters using a 3-5kW system, you can expect to pay $15.19 if you’re in Brisbane (hot), $111.80 if you’re in Sydney (average) and $265.82 if you’re in Melbourne (cold). 

 Again, the climate zone where you live will significantly affect how much you will spend on heating your home during the cooler winter months. 

Tips to run your Air-conditioned more efficiently this Summer

Tips for staying cool for less in the summer 


Aside from ensuring that you invest in the proper air conditioning supply and install Perth, finding ways to stay cool in the summer without running up your electricity bill is imperative. Here are some tips: 

  •  Only operate heat-producing appliances during the night. When your home is already hot, you shouldn’t add to that heat by turning on your oven, dishwasher or washing machine. Save your baking, dishwashing and laundry during the night-time if you can, so you don’t have to turn on your AC and have it work double time, thus incurring more electricity usage. 
  • Use fans. You might be thinking that more than the fans would be needed to cool your house during a scorching Australian summer day, but it can help your air conditioner cost significantly. If you use your fans with your air conditioner during the hottest times of the day, your AC wouldn’t have to work as much because the fans will help circulate cool air around your house. Just make sure to turn off your fans when you leave a room.  
  • Help your air conditioner. During the hottest times of the day, your air conditioner has to work harder than ever to keep your house cool. But there are also ways to prevent more heat from cooking your home and making it hotter. For one, it’s best to shut your blinds or curtains during the daytime to avoid the sun’s heat from entering your windows and heating your home more.  You should also find ways to seal the gaps around your doors and windows to keep the cool and hot air in. It would be best if you also made it a habit to unplug any appliances like laptops, lights and TVs that will add to the heat inside your home and increase your electricity bill. 
  • Give your air conditioner a break. Your air conditioner will work twice as hard during the hottest times of the day, so it needs a break now and then. When the evenings get more relaxed, you can open your windows to let the cool breeze in, so you can give your air conditioner a break for a few hours before you turn it back on. Just make sure to close all the windows again in the morning to keep your house sealed while the air conditioner is running. 
  • Keep yourself hydrated. It’s easy to be tempted to put your air conditioner on full blast when you’re already feeling so hot. But there are ways to cool down without necessarily ramping up your electricity bills, one of which is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. You can also soak your feet in cool water or take a cold shower to feel refreshed without relying solely on the air conditioner.  
  • Go out to cool down. Now, if you need to run some errands during the day, you can do it during the hottest hours, so you can turn your AC off and find another place to cool down. For instance, you can grocery shop during these times to stay cool inside the supermarket or shopping center without necessarily spending electricity at home. 

Family staying cool for less this summer

Tips for keeping electricity low from your air conditioner 


Of course, there are also ways to keep air conditioner cost low from your air conditioner itself. Here are some tips.

Choose the right air conditioner. 

 When choosing an air conditioning unit, ask for energy efficiency, which you can determine through its Energy Star rating. 5 is the highest rating for an air conditioner, and one is the lowest. Investing in an air conditioner with a 5 Energy Star rating means that the appliance will cool the room more efficiently than those with a lower rating. For instance, a 5-star inverter AC from Complete Air Systems can help you save up to 50% on energy costs, while a 3-star inverter will only help you save up to 30% on costs.  

Invest in proper installation. 

A good air conditioning supplier and installer in Perth is just as important as choosing the right air conditioning unit for your home. Professionals know exactly where to place their air conditioner and its external unit, so they don’t get too much sun exposure, making them work harder. Proper installation also ensures that there will be no problems with electrical connections down the line that could also ramp up your electricity bills.

Schedule regular maintenance checks. 

 It would help if you cleaned your filters regularly. Suppose you want to keep your air conditioner in optimal running condition. In that case, you have to schedule regular maintenance checks and services. A professional can help assess the situation of your unit, clean it properly, and ensure any problems are addressed before they affect your air conditioner’s performance and increase your electricity costs.  

 Insulate your home properly. 

 No matter how efficient your air conditioning unit is, it will only cool your house optimally if the space is prepared for cooling. Ensure your windows have shades or blinds to keep the sun’s heat out. You should also check all your doors and windows for any draft sources and seal them to prevent hot air from entering your home, making it harder for your air conditioner to cool the space. Also, make it a habit to close all the doors and windows before you turn your AC on to ensure that you’re not wasting energy cooling the room when hot air is still coming in from those open doors and windows. 



Keeping your air conditioning cost low will require some action on your end. Although investing in good quality, Energy Star-rated air conditioning unit is crucial, you must also maintain it and find ways to keep your home cool or warm depending on the season without relying on your air conditioning unit alone.