Is setting your AC to 27°C while keeping the fan running truly a cost-effective choice?

Dhaka’s blistering summers invariably trigger a surge in air conditioner (AC) usage. While evading the heat remains paramount, the ensuing spike in electricity bills looms as a pressing concern. However, a methodical approach to AC configurations, coupled with judicious fan utilization, presents a remedy that harmonizes comfort and economical efficacy.

The misconception that setting a thermostat to a very low temperature, such as 18°C, cools a room faster is demonstrably false. Regardless of the chosen temperature, the AC unit requires the same amount of time to reach a desired coolness. However, a lower setting forces the compressor to work harder and for longer durations, leading to increased energy consumption.

Research suggests that with proper adjustments to other thermal comfort factors, humans can acclimate to warmer environments, up to 29°C. This presents a significant opportunity for energy savings.

The optimal solution lies in a moderate AC setting. Experts recommend adjusting the thermostat to 27°C. This reduces the strain on the AC compressor, demonstrably lowering energy consumption. Studies indicate that raising the temperature from 18°C to 27°C can translate to annual savings of approximately 7000 BDT and 960 kWh of energy.

Combining a fan with an AC can effectively decrease the perceived temperature by 2°C. Image: Tech & Startup

Dhaka’s scorching summers inevitably lead to a surge in air conditioner (AC) usage. While escaping the heat is essential, the resulting spike in electricity bills can be a significant concern. Fortunately, a data-driven approach to AC settings, combined with the strategic use of fans, offers a solution that prioritizes both comfort and cost-effectiveness.

The misconception that setting a thermostat to a very low temperature, such as 18°C, cools a room faster is demonstrably false. Regardless of the chosen temperature, the AC unit requires the same amount of time to reach a desired coolness. However, a lower setting forces the compressor to work harder and for longer durations, leading to increased energy consumption.

Research suggests that with proper adjustments to other thermal comfort factors, humans can acclimate to warmer environments, up to 29°C. This presents a significant opportunity for energy savings.

The optimal solution lies in a moderate AC setting. Experts recommend adjusting the thermostat to 27°C. This reduces the strain on the AC compressor, demonstrably lowering energy consumption. Studies indicate that raising the temperature from 18°C to 27°C can translate to annual savings of approximately 7000 BDT and 960 kWh of energy.

Ceiling fans play a crucial role in enhancing the effectiveness of this approach. By circulating air, fans create a wind chill effect that enhances the sensation of coolness. This allows for a slight increase in the AC temperature without sacrificing comfort. In fact, combining a fan with an AC can effectively decrease the perceived temperature by 2°C, leading to even lower energy consumption compared to solely relying on a cooler AC setting.

There’s also a potential health benefit associated with this strategy. Maintaining a significant temperature differential between the indoors and outdoors can put a strain on the body. Setting a moderate AC temperature helps maintain a healthier thermal equilibrium.

The energy efficiency of fans is another key advantage. Even at their highest settings, fans consume significantly less power than AC units. Residents can, therefore, confidently utilize one or even two fans concurrently, while enjoying the cost savings associated with a more moderate AC setting.

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