How Can Your Air Conditioner Affect Your Energy Bill?

Get Our Best Offer & Get a $50* Voucher
  • Compare Providers
  • 100% Free Service
  • Brokered Over 150,000 Deals
* We do not compare all energy providers and have commercial arrangements with our partners.


How Much Does it Cost To Use Your Air Conditioner?

In the scorching heat of the summer, air conditioning can be a must. However, turning on your air conditioner can come at a steep cost. 

This article dives into the annual cost of running your air-conditioning system and the factors that negatively affect your electricity bill. We also have a few energy tips to keep your home cool while saving money.

How Can I Reduce My Energy Bill Further?

If you think you’re paying more for electricity, it’s possible you are. One of the easiest ways you can lower your bill is to compare energy plans and switch to a more competitive rate. Most retailers offer a benefit period that ends after some time (i.e., 12 months). Once this promotional period ends, you may be paying more than necessary. At Electricity Monster, we can help you potentially lower your bill by comparing rates and finding you a fair deal from our network of partnered retailers. We may also be able to apply energy concessions to your energy account at no cost to you. Click on the link below to get our best deal and a $50 voucher.

Voucher Heading
Voucher Coupon

Type of Air Conditioners

There are many different types of Air Conditioning systems on the market, each with benefits and drawbacks. Each type of AC system is designed for different situations and could have a stronger impact on your electricity bill.

Split System

A split-system air conditioner consists of 2 components: an indoor and outdoor unit. The outdoor unit does the heavy lifting to ensure the indoor unit has a smooth and quiet performance. 

This air conditioning system is ideal for cooling rooms that are close together, thanks to its power and efficiency. But it’s not a viable solution to cool your whole house. 

One split system unit would have to use more electricity to work harder to cool down a large space. This would be ineffective and can significantly add to your energy bill. 

So, if you want to cool the whole house, you may have to opt for multiple split systems.

Ducted System

A ducted air conditioning system has a central unit usually hidden in the roof. The ducts connect to the central system and provide airflow through the air outlets in each room. 

This system is perfectly designed for total home cooling and heating while giving you effective control of the household’s temperature via a central thermostat. 

A big house with several rooms may benefit from a ducted system, but it can cost a fortune to run! The more rooms you have, the more power your AC will use to cool down your home to your desired temperature. 

While they can be expensive to install and use, they can also be a worthwhile long-term investment that will keep your whole house cool over the summer.

Wall/Window System

These are single box units installed through the window or mounted onto the wall. They’re designed to cool smaller rooms and offer an affordable option for your home.

While they have a lower investment cost, a wall/window system is ineffective for total home cooling.

This system will not only cost you more for your electricity but won’t efficiently cool your entire home.

Portable System

If you’re looking for a quick fix to cool your home, a portable AC system is the way to go. While a standard large-scale air conditioning unit can offer more power than a portable AC system, the downsides are that they can be pretty noisy and take up precious floor space. 

Portable air conditioners aren’t very efficient when it comes to cooling big rooms. You’d also have to start the whole cooling process if you were to move to another room, which would only cost you more.

Temperature Setting

Temperature and cooling capacity can dramatically impact your cooling costs.

Although 1 degree may not seem like much, it forces your air conditioner to use more electricity than required and can hurt your bank account. 

So, having your air conditioner temperature set to the lowest in summer and highest in winter can significantly contribute to an expensive energy bill.

Room Size – Which size is right for you?

Imagine using a tiny aircon to cool a massive room – it’s just not going to work! You’re probably better off staying in the shower all day!

An air conditioner’s cooling capacity and room size are two factors that must work together to cool your home effectively.

An air conditioner with a small cooling capacity in a big space may require more electricity to cool the room, which may cost you more. However, an air conditioner with a high cooling capacity in a small room may overperform, thus using more energy than required. 

So it’s wise to pick an aircon’s cooling capacity based on the size of the room you wish to use it in. The table below indicates an air conditioner’s cooling capacity that will be efficient and effective for a room’s size.

Room Size m²Capacity - Cooling(C)/Heating(H)
3.0m x 3.0m = 9m²-2.2KW(C)/3.2KW(H)
5.0m x 5.0m = 25m²3.5KW(C)/3.7KW - 4.3KW(H)
5.5m x 5.5m = 30m²3.5KW(C)/3.7KW(H) - 5.0KW(C)/6.0KW(H)
6.3m x 6.3m = 40m²5.0KW(C)/6.0KW(H) - 6.0KW(C)/7.2KW(H)
6.7m x 6.7m = 45m²6.0KW(C)/7.2KW(H) - 7.1KW(C)/8.0KW(H)
7.1m x 7.1m = 50m²7.1KW(C)/8.0KW(H) - 8.0KW(C)/9.0KW(H)
7.7m x 7.7m = 55m²8.0KW(C)/9.0KW(H) - 9.2KW(C)/10.0KW(H)

* This is an approximated general guide of air conditioner capacity to room size from Harvey Norman.


As with any appliance, the longer you use it, the more it’ll cost you. And it’s the same for running your air conditioner!

Prolonged use of your AC system would add a significant amount to your electricity bill as opposed to a household that uses it for an hour a day.

Number of People

The number of people in the household can also impact your air conditioning running cost, as an individual’s body heat can affect the room temperature.

A room with more people is more likely to take a long time and use more electricity to cool than it would with a space of fewer people.

What’s Cookin’ in The Kitchen?

It’s always hotter in the kitchen when you’re cooking up a storm! The kitchen will almost always be hotter.

The steam from hot food can cause the temperature of your home to rise. So, your AC system has to use more electricity to combat the heat of your kitchen.

Air Con Energy Saving Tips

Now that we’ve seen a few factors that can affect your air conditioning running cost, let’s check out some tips that might help you save on your energy bill while keeping cool!

Energy Efficiency Rating

*The above picture is an example from the Energy Rating website;

You’ve most certainly seen the energy efficiency rating labels on most appliances, so you know that the more stars it has, the more energy-efficient it is! 

The energy star rating labels give you the appliances’ energy efficiency star rating to compare against similar products. 

An air conditioner with a high energy efficiency rating is more efficient and uses less power, resulting in a lower expense on your energy bill.

Optimal Temperature Setting

We’ve all been guilty of cranking the air conditioner down to 18 degrees in the Summer! But in reality, it’s unnecessary and a waste of money.

Maintaining a consistent temperature of 22 to 24 degrees throughout the day ensures that your AC system is not consuming more electricity than required to keep your home cool.

Alternative Options

A dehumidifier is a great alternative to cool your home in humid weather. Most dehumidifiers are portable and cheap, providing a fast solution to combat the heat. 

Other great options are portable or ceiling fans. It’s energy-efficient and effective at cooling your room. While you’d have to have a fan for each room, it’s still a cheaper alternative than an AC.

Proper Cleaning and Maintenance

A poorly maintained AC system is likelier to use more electricity to compensate for its inefficiency. So it’s essential to regularly clean your air conditioner’s filter to ensure no cold air blockage.

Proper cleaning and dusting of vents and exterior components allow the air conditioning unit to cool your home efficiently.

Home Insulation

Home insulation is a crucial aspect of every household. You need it to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. 

So ensuring your home is adequately insulated helps circulate the cold air around the house and prevent it from escaping.

Close The Curtains

Here is another simple yet effective tip! We all try to find some shade outside to escape the heat. 

So closing your curtains when the aircon is running helps cool down the room much quicker than if the window was uncovered. 

The faster the room cools down to the perfect temperature, the shorter you’ll use your air conditioner and the less it’ll cost you!

Get a Better Electricity Rate

You might be paying too much for your electricity. If you know you’ll use your aircon for long periods, you might be better off switching to a cheaper energy deal.

Call Electricity Monster today if you think you’re paying too much. We can compare prices between our partnered retailers to get you the best deal we have available.

Want To Make The Most Of The Sun?

If you’re a heavy air conditioner user, then maybe going solar could be the perfect solution for you. It means that the energy your AC unit uses to cool your home comes from the very thing that makes the weather hot! 

While going solar can be expensive, it’s a worthwhile investment that could end up saving you money for your electricity.

Happy With How Much Your Air Conditioner Costs You To Run?

There you have it! We’ve given you the lowdown on how much your aircon could potentially cost you and the factors that can significantly add to your electricity bills.

These energy-saving tips are an excellent way to still cool your home without having to compromise on how long you use it.

Chill out with the air conditioner in the sweltering summer period without stressing how much it costs you! Looking for a cheap electricity deal to accommodate your high air conditioning usage in the summer months? Call us on 1300 232 848, and we’ll help you get a sharper rate!

Let Electricity Monster Help You

At Electricity Monster, we can provide you with various free solutions at no cost to you. If you’re looking for a new energy plan, our team of energy experts will find you the best we have within our network of partnered retailers.

Have questions about your energy usage? We can help. Give our team a call today and let us provide you with the solution to your energy and solar needs.

Other Reads You Might Like

The Best and Cheapest Electricity Deals New South Wales Has On Offer

Read more

The Best and Cheapest Electricity Deals Victoria has on offer (and how you can get them!)

Read more

Best Electricity Deals Queensland (Cheapest Providers)

Read more

The Best and Cheapest Electricity Deals South Australia Has On Offer

Read more


  • The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. 
  • Any reliance you place on the information provided in this article is therefore strictly at your own risk. You need to make your own enquiries to determine if the information or products are appropriate for your intended use.
  • In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.
  • Electricity Monster does not make any guarantees, explicitly or implicitly, over the accuracy of the materials provided.
  • We do not guarantee that the information provided applies to every household or every business in Australia.
  • We encourage readers to verify the data provided here, with a third-party, independent source before coming to any conclusions.
  • The information provided here is accurate to the best of our knowledge. The figures represented are pulled from the Australian Government official website.
Benjamin Tom

Benjamin Tom covers the retail energy market, with a focus on electricity, solar, and Internet. His interests include helping people navigate the complexities of the energy market while saving money on their power bills.