How much does air conditioning affect my electric bill?

How much does air conditioning affect my electric bill?

Hawaii is a tropical paradise, but its electric bill is one of the highest in the US. It’s not that Hawaii residents use more electricity than other Americans, but it is more expensive to produce electricity in Hawaii than on the mainland. 

Air conditioning is a major energy consumer and it’s no secret that it can also be costly. We’ll help you find out the effects of an air conditioner on your electric bill and whether it is a viable option in consideration with the highest energy rates in Hawaii.

Electricity expenses while living in Hawaii

Electricity is essential to run a home. However, it is often expensive. You can’t avoid the cost, but you can reduce it. Some states in the US have high energy prices, Hawaii is one of them.

Hawaii’s average household uses about 10000-12,000 kWh of electricity per year and 900-1000 kWh per month. The average cost for this amount of energy is $0.37 per kWh, which contributes to thousands of dollars annually. Many homes use energy-intensive devices such as air conditioners, refrigerators, etc. This makes the energy bills even higher.

Size of Air conditioning and energy usage

According to the US Energy Information Administration, Residential energy consumption makes up about 40% of the U.S. electricity market. An air conditioning need is about 10-20% of the average home’s energy bill while living in the Hawaiian Islands.

Air conditioning systems are large, energy-consuming appliances that can make a big impact on your home’s energy bill. These big machines draw a lot of energy to keep your home cool. The bigger your home is (large Sq. ft. area), the more energy it uses to cool down the whole space. The energy bill will be higher for a large home than for a smaller one. 

Up to which extent does air conditioning affect your Hawaii’s electric bill?

Air conditioning reduces the humidity and temperature inside the house, making it comfortable to live in but also consuming more electricity. Usually, a larger room requires more air circulation while drawing more energy.

Electricity bills depend on the size of the home, the air conditioner efficiency, and daily usage hours. The more you use the air conditioner, the higher the electricity consumption will be.

You need to know the power consumption of the air conditioner to determine the cost of energy bills. Energy consumption and cost are different for a split system air conditioner or a window unit air conditioner or a centralized one.

Considering example of a 2000 Sq. ft. house in Hawaii

When calculating residential cooling capacity, it’s common to assume an HVAC unit can cool 400 square feet per ton of air conditioner capacity. So it all boils down to finding the size that suits your need. Given the climate zone in Hawaii, if you have a 2000-square-foot home, you can expect 5 ton unit of air conditioning to cool the entire house.

The general rule of thumb is- a 1-ton AC uses 1000 watts. So, a 5-ton AC requires 5000 Watts (5 kWh) of electricity to run efficiently for an EER rating of 10. So as per Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) rate of $0.37/kWh, a 5-ton AC system uses 25kWh/day, and costs around $1.85/h for 5 hours of daily usage, and around $281.38 per month.

Save money by installing a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat is the best option to save you money on your heating and cooling bills. A thermostat can control the temperature of your home automatically while allowing you to set the desired temperature. It can save energy by turning off the air conditioner when the temperature inside the home stays below the set point.

In order to save energy, you must think of using an air conditioner with high efficiency. If you have an air conditioner with low efficiency, it will use more electricity. You should also make sure that it has an EER (energy efficiency ratio) higher than 10. If it has a lower EER value, it will consume more electricity and cost you more money.