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Just How Much Does it Cost To Run Your Air Conditioner During Winter?

We’ve all heard that using our air conditioner in winter usually results in a hefty bill. However, what if we told you that this is just a common misconception and that you can turn up the heat without worrying about a huge power bill come spring?

According to research by Canstar Blue, using your air conditioner in winter definitely won’t break the bank. In fact – the average modern reverse cycle air conditioner is actually cheaper to run than most household appliances! We compare running costs of the average air conditioner against different household appliances and other heating solutions below.

air conditioners vs household appliances

 

 

As per the diagrams above, the average modern reverse cycle air conditioner costs only around $0.13 – $0.36 per hour to run.

This comes in cheaper than most common household appliances including a clothes dryer ($0.50 – $3.14 per hour), vacuum cleaner ($0.41 – $0.82 per hour) iron ($0.41-$0.82 per hour) and even the humble microwave ($0.28 – $0.53 per hour). Cheaper than you thought, right?

Backed by Government research, reverse cycle air conditioners with high energy ratings, such as our industry leading 7 star rated 2.0kW Avanti PLUS® model, are the most energy efficient and cost effective solution for most heating spaces. While the upfront cost may be slightly higher, these units allow you to heat a space quickly and efficiently – saving you money in the long run!

 

air conditioners vs gas and electric heaters

How does a reverse cycle air conditioner really compare with other common heating appliances? We compare them in the table below.

Room Size Heater Types Energy Star Rating Annual Energy Cost
Small Room (12m2) Gas Heater 3 $170
5 $140
Portable Electric Heater N/A $385
Reverse Cycle Air-Conditioner 2 $140
5 $85
Medium Room (30m2) Gas Heater 3 $395
5 $340
Portable Electric Heater N/A $935
Reverse Cycle Air-Conditioner 2 $310
5 $300
Medium Room (60m2) Gas Heater 3 $730
5 $625
Portable Electric Heater N/A $1,860
Reverse Cycle Air-Conditioner 1.5 $640
4 $440

* Approximate costs per year, based an average existing (pre-2005) 2-Star house in a Melbourne climate, heating to 20oC all day on the weekend (7am to 10pm) and in the morning (6am to 9am) and evening (5pm to 11pm) on weekdays, as needed.

Source: https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-your-home/Save-energy/Heating/Heating-running-costs

 

DELVING DEEPER

 

Portable Electric Heaters

Portable Electric Heaters rarely display their energy ratings making it hard for you to determine energy efficiency. As the table above indicates, portable heaters, although convenient, can be very expensive to run and should be used sparingly to avoid an electricity bill blowout. A standard electric radiant heater costs about $0.36[1] per hour and an electric panel heater costs $0.43[2], but neither of these are economical when heating large spaces such as a living room.

Gas Heaters

According to Canster Blue a standard gas heater costs $0.43 – $0.51 per hour[3]. Although gas has historically been a cheaper energy source, electric heating options such as reverse cycle air conditioners are becoming more energy-efficient. A study by the Melbourne University found that consumers can save money by making the switch from gas heating to using reverse cycle air conditioners[4].

Wood Heaters

Sometimes heating your home with wood can be more economical than the alternatives; particularly if you have easy access to wood supplies. However, in terms of energy efficiency, wood heaters score low due to the amount of heat lost in chimneys and larger spaces. Between technical specifications, performance and safety requirements, the selection process can be very daunting and equally confusing.

 THE FINAL WORD

Having looked at cost and energy efficiency – the reverse cycle air conditioner is a clear winner for modern Aussie homes. MHIAA offers a range of reverse cycle split systems from 1.7kW – 9.5kW. With a range like this you’ll be sure to find a solution for every type of room. So, it’s time to say goodbye to feeling guilty about using your air conditioner and hello to enjoying warmth and comfort at home – stress free!

Please note:  your heating costs will depend on your home, your local climate and the prices you pay for electricity or gas.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your heating solution, visit our dealer search function to find the closest MHIAA dealer who will be able to recommend the best solution for your home.

 

[1] https://www.canstarblue.com.au/appliances/how-much-electricity-does-aircon-use/

[2] https://www.canstarblue.com.au/appliances/how-much-electricity-does-aircon-use/

[3] https://www.canstarblue.com.au/appliances/how-much-electricity-does-aircon-use/

[4] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-25/switching-from-gas-to-air-conditioners-can-cut-energy-costs/6723744

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