The recent hot weather has been unbearable in my house this year, especially since I work from home.
So I decided to consider installing air conditioning.
However, I do know that it is unlikely to be cheap to install and will increase my energy bills. How much am I looking to pay?
Another concern is how this might affect the environment – would it be particularly damaging? By email
Some households are considering installing air conditioning as the warm weather continues
Grace Gausden, This is Money, responds: Most of us have enjoyed the warm weather recently – but for people who live in homes and apartments that are particularly exposed to the heat, it’s not all fun and games.
Many who work from home will have realized how hot their properties are during the day and will be looking for long term ways to cool them down.
While most will opt for a fan, a more efficient option is to consider installing air conditioning as a solution to heat.
However, this is often very expensive and can also have negative consequences on the environment.
In fact, the Energy Helpline figures show exactly how much more it can cost to run the air conditioning compared to using a fan.
Although the cost of running an air conditioner can vary depending on the size of the air conditioning unit you have, it can cost up to 43 pence per hour to operate.
If you run your air conditioning eight hours a day it will cost you over Â£ 100 over a month.
In comparison, running a fan costs just 0.75 pence per hour, and to run it eight hours a day, it will cost you around Â£ 1.80 per month – a huge difference.
Meanwhile, using a portable air conditioner uses 2.3 kilowatts of energy per hour on average while a fan uses 0.08 kilowatt per hour.
Thus, an air conditioner consumes 28 times more energy than a fan.
When it comes to environmental impact, Ofcom’s latest greenhouse gas report shows that one kilowatt of electricity creates 0.233 kg of carbon dioxide.
This means that using an air conditioner for one hour creates 0.536 kg of CO2 compared to only 0.02 kg when using a fan for one hour.
Ultimately, using a fan is better for the environment – and for your wallet.
But for those who really can’t stand the heat, we outline some of the best portable air conditioning options at the end of this article.
We also asked energy experts for their tips on keeping your home cool.
Using a fan, compared to air conditioning, could save you a lot on energy bills
Will Owen, energy expert at Uswitch, responds: While you might not think home air conditioning is so common in the UK, a heat wave at the end of May 2020 saw Google searches for portable air conditioning units increase by 133% per year. compared to the previous year.
According to Uswitch’s research, these units cost around 44 pence per hour to operate.
With an average use of 4 hours 18 minutes during the day and 4 hours 48 minutes at night, portable air conditioners could increase electricity bills by Â£ 28 per week in hot weather.
However, a 120W electric fan costs around 2p per hour, so it shouldn’t reduce your power consumption too much.
If you want to make your fan more efficient, you can try placing a bowl of ice or a bottle of frozen water in front of it to circulate cooler air.
To prevent your room from getting too warm to begin with, try to keep your curtains closed and windows open during the day if possible.
Tom Lyon, Energy Director at Energy Helpline, responds: Keeping your home cool during the hot summer months doesn’t always require the use of expensive air conditioning units, and a few simple tips can help you lower your home’s temperature.
It is important to keep your windows closed as this will prevent hot air from entering your home.
Remember to reopen them after the sun goes down to let in cooler air.
When cooking, using your oven and grill less will also help keep the temperature low, and if your kitchen gets really hot, turn on your extractor hood to let the hot air out.
For households that use air conditioning units, be sure to keep the vents clean as this will keep your home cooler and lower your energy costs. Note that you should also have your device serviced at least once a year.
Experts say keeping windows closed in hot weather is a good idea because it keeps hot air out
Gareth Kloet, energy spokesperson, Go Compare, responds: From an energy standpoint, the cost of running an air conditioning unit will depend on how much energy the unit uses, how many units you have in the house, and how long the air conditioning unit runs. unit to reach the desired temperature.
But it’s important to remember that retail energy prices haven’t been this high in five years, and there are concerns that this will continue to rise, so the operation of a cooling system definitely becomes more expensive.
A better alternative that helps year round would be to insulate your property and consider cavity wall insulation – if it isn’t already installed.
This is because not only does it help keep your home warm in the winter, but it also has the added benefit of keeping it cooler in the summer.
If you are thinking about cavity wall insulation, you should seek the advice of a professional cavity wall installer, who will undertake an investigation to make sure your home is suitable.
As with any modification to your home, it is also a good idea to inform your home insurer before starting any work.
Portable air conditioning units
As an alternative to fully installed fan or air conditioners, there are a number of portable options on the market.
They can range from prices as low as Â£ 40 to hundreds, depending on how much wattage you want them to be.
We have selected varying prices so that customers can see what they can get for their money.
Corlitec portable air conditioner is currently on the market for Â£ 399.99
Corlitec portable air conditioner (Â£ 399.99)
This 3-in-1 air conditioner also acts as a two-speed dehumidifier and cooling fan.
It comes with a digital display and can be used with a remote control. There is also a 24 hour timer and a digital display showing the current temperature.
While not the smallest conditioner, it has four wheels on the bottom, which makes it portable.
Dyson Cool Tower Fan (Â£ 349.99)
One of the most popular fan models, the Dyson Cool fan can be programmed to turn off after preset intervals, from 15 minutes to 9 hours.
It weighs just 2.85 kg and is just over a meter tall. Users can choose from ten airflow settings to get the right temperature.
The Russell Hobbs device is on wheels
Elitlife Air Cooler (Â£ 30.99)
An inexpensive option, perfect for those who want short-term relief, the Air Cooler is a 4-in-1 portable mini unit.
It is a combination of air conditioner, desk fan and air humidifier and is equipped with 3 speeds, so users can choose an ideal speed to cool them down.
Russell Hobbs RHPAC3001 (Â£ 246)
The 3 in 1 portable air conditioner also acts as a dehumidifier which can be useful in winter as well as summer.
The air cooler has a power of 2000W and can be controlled remotely.
It is also on casters and can therefore be moved easily.
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on it, we may earn a small commission. This helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.