Record-breaking electricity bill: Air conditioner repairman reveals common mistakes.

Many users claim to know how to use smart and energy-saving air conditioners, but in reality, they pose health risks and hike up electricity bills.


“Shocked” with the electricity bill

Receiving the electricity bill for last month, Mr. Nam Trung (30 years old, Hoang Mai district) was “shocked” when the cost doubled, even though Hanoi has not entered the peak of hot weather. The amount of 2 million VND is considered a “record high” for a family of four.

Mr. Trung installed two Inverter air conditioners (energy-saving) with a capacity of 9,000BTU and 24,000BTU in two bedrooms. On weekdays, they mainly use the air conditioner in the evening, from 22:00 to 07:00 the next day. On weekends, when all members are at home, the two machines almost operate at full capacity, especially at noon.

“In the previous heat wave, Hanoi had several days over 40 degrees Celsius, so we comfortably used the air conditioner, which caused the electricity consumption to increase sharply,” Mr. Trung said.

Air conditioning may account for 60-65% of the total electricity consumption in a household (Illustration: M.N.).

Ms. Minh Hien (29 years old, Hai Ba Trung district) was also “shocked” when her electricity bill was over 1.2 million VND, increasing by 400,000 VND compared to the previous month.

Using an application to check the electricity consumption of electrical devices in the house, she found that the air conditioner consumed the most power.

“My bedroom is only about 15m2. I usually turn on the air conditioner until the room is cool, then turn it off, and when it gets hot again, I turn it on again,” she said, unaware that this is the reason why the electricity bill “increased excessively”.

Living alone and not having much knowledge about air conditioning, she admitted that she did not regularly clean the air conditioner. Last week, the device was not cool, so she called a technician to check and was surprised to find it filled with dust inside. The lack of regular cleaning of the air conditioner has wasted electricity and reduced the cooling efficiency by 10 to 15%.

After the technician pumped gas, cleaned the condenser and evaporator, the air conditioner returned to normal operation. She said that one million VND for maintenance is the cost of “ignorance”.

Ms. Hien’s electricity bill for May increased by 400,000 VND compared to the previous month (Photo: NVCC).

According to the Hanoi Power Corporation (EVN Hanoi), the power consumption of air conditioners can account for 60-65% of the total electricity consumption in a household.

To save energy, this agency has repeatedly advised people to set the air conditioner temperature at 26 degrees Celsius or higher. If the set temperature in the room is lowered by 1 degree, the power consumption of the air conditioner also increases by 1.5 to 3%. Setting a lower temperature does not make the air conditioner cool faster, but instead consumes more electricity, reduces the machine’s lifespan, and does not guarantee health.

“In case it is not cool enough, users can turn on additional fans, which can help save about 2 to 3% of electricity compared to turning on the air conditioner at a lower temperature,” said EVN Hanoi.

Common mistakes when using air conditioners that waste electricity

Mr. Phan Tuan (43 years old, owner of a refrigeration repair shop) said that many customers have serious misconceptions about “using air conditioners to save electricity”.

“They think they know how to use the air conditioner smartly and economically, but in fact, it harms their health and wastes electricity,” Mr. Tuan said.

He pointed out some basic mistakes that users need to avoid:

1. Buying too old air conditioners to save costs:

Many people choose to buy used air conditioners to save costs, without knowing that the cooling efficiency is not high due to weak motors, resulting in high power consumption.

Not to mention that the machines are prone to damage, malfunctions, and need continuous maintenance. The cost of this is also not small.

2. Constantly turning on/off:

Some people have a habit of turning on the air conditioner until the room is cool, then turning it off, and turning it on again when it gets hot. The purpose of this is to save electricity, but it increases the monthly electricity bill multiple times.

When turning on the air conditioner, the machine needs to consume a lot of energy to perform a series of tasks, such as starting the compressor, the fan motor, and cooling the air to the required temperature. Turning on/off multiple times repeats this process, wasting more electricity and even making the condenser and evaporator less durable.

Regular maintenance of air conditioners (Illustration).

3. Constantly raising/lowering the temperature:

When the room temperature has been lowered, users tend to increase the temperature temporarily to make the machine stop working. However, most air conditioners today have sensor systems to maintain a stable temperature level, so manual temperature adjustment can reverse the normal operation process of the machine, reduce its durability, and waste electricity.

4. Setting the lowest temperature immediately when entering the room:

Some people want the room to cool quickly, so they lower the temperature to the lowest (around 16-18 degrees Celsius), causing the device to operate at full capacity, thereby wasting electricity and quickly breaking down.

The rapid temperature reduction also shocks the users. Experts recommend turning on the air conditioner at a temperature of about 26 degrees Celsius or higher.

5. Keeping the air conditioner on continuously throughout the day:

The habit of keeping the air conditioner on continuously during the day is the main cause of energy waste and significantly reduces the lifespan of the machine due to long-term operation. Users should not turn on the air conditioner during times when it is not too hot during the day.

6. Not using a fan/fan together with the air conditioner:

Many people never use the air conditioner and electric fan at the same time because they believe it wastes electricity.

In reality, these two devices work together, helping to circulate air to the entire room more quickly, reducing the air conditioner’s power and working frequency, thereby saving electricity.

7. Not cleaning the air conditioner regularly:

If dust enters, the cooling capacity of the air conditioner will decrease and consume more energy. On the condenser, dust will prevent the air conditioner from blowing cold air into the room. On the evaporator, dust will block the fan, preventing ventilation, leading to damage or even fire.

Therefore, to ensure that the air conditioner provides the desired temperature, users need to regularly clean both the condenser and the evaporator.

“People should clean their air conditioners every 6 months or once a year to avoid dirt and dust sticking to the device, which wastes electricity,” Mr. Tuan said.

According to Dantri.

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