I’m writing this post on Saturday, and at the moment we have workmen throughout the house installing air conditioning. When I first built this house I always assumed that one day I would install air conditioning, but at the time of building I just didn’t have the money to warrant the cost of installation, or the on going running costs.

Air con

It turns out that 7 years later and we still didn’t have air conditioning when we sold the house, but now that we are renting the same place back off the new owner, he decided that he wants to put air conditioning in the house. Despite planning on installing it one day, I just never really felt that we needed it. Every afternoon we get an amazing sea breeze, and even on those stupid hot days that Australia sometimes gets, we would just go to the shops or hang out in the backyard playing with Nick in his little kiddy pool.

With our new house that is about to be built, we have fully ducted air conditioning, but I have worked out that if it is running at full ball it will cost me about $3 an hour. I’m worried that we will get used to having air conditioning and become accustomed to it, which in turn will increase our power bill quite significantly.

To combat this I am considering installing a solar panel system on our roof. We have plenty of roof space facing North (that’s the best direction for solar panels in the southern hemisphere) so I thought it would be a good opportunity to not only reduce the air conditioning running costs, but also enjoy not having to draw power from the grid and potentially even get a credit on our electricity bill.

I can get a 10kW system for about $14,000, which, if my math is correct, will pay for itself in about 7 years (power in Australia is VERY expensive) – so I think it’s going to be a good worthwhile investment over the long term – particularly if we can avoid turning on the air conditioning…


Do you have air con? Does it cost you much to run?