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What Is The Ideal Air Conditioner Temperature For Electricity Savings?

What Is The Ideal Air Conditioner Temperature For Electricity Savings?

Did you know that Ergon Energy estimates that for every degree that you decrease your air conditioner temperature in summer, you’ll save up to 10% on your energy use?

When summer arrives, most Australians set their air conditioner to a chilly 19 or 20 degrees and call it a day. However, this drastic cooling can easily make your electricity bills skyrocket, and the increased pressure on your air conditioner will certainly make it wear out faster.

Making simple adjustments to your air conditioning habits can help your family save a surprising amount of money. In this article, we’ll show you the optimum air conditioner temperatures throughout Australia, how to use your air conditioner economically, and how to save on your electricity throughout the year.

Follow our guide to keep cool and comfy without breaking the bank.

What is the most efficient temperature for air conditioning in Australia?

The most efficient temperature for air conditioning ultimately depends on the season and the climate of where you live. The best temperature for air conditioning in summer varies depending on whether you’re at the scorching tip of our country, or its cooler southern regions. Despite our extremely diverse climates, most Australians set their air conditioners to 22 degrees in summer and 19 degrees in winter without accounting for the local climate.

Climate is the biggest factor in air conditioner efficiency, as it directly affects how hard your unit needs to work to keep you cool. Remember, climate is more than temperature; it is a combination of environmental factors including humidity, rainfall, daylight hours, and wind. If you’re in a high-humidity or rainy environment, then your air conditioner will have to work harder to regulate the temperature, so if you set your temperatures poorly then you can expect your bill to soar. Other factors like wind can increase the levels of atmospheric dust, which along with humidity, can clog your filters. To work out the most efficient temperature for your air conditioner, you’ll need to understand the correct temperatures for the climate you live in.

Below, we explore the best air conditioning temperature for you, depending on where you live in Australia.

climate map of Australia

South East Queensland and North New South Wales

This region has a sub-tropical climate.


For the ideal air conditioning temperature in summer, set your thermostat to 25°C. If you change your temperature from 22°C to 25°C, you will cut your daily air conditioning energy consumption by more than 20%.


For the winter months in South East Queensland and northern New South Wales, set your air conditioner to 18°C. Most homes in this climate will be around 18°C in the mornings and evenings, with temperature only spiking during the day. If you run your air conditioner at 18°C, it won’t need to work hard at all to maintain those comfortable morning temperatures.

North Queensland, North Western Australia, Northern Territory

These regions have a tropical climate.


The most efficient air conditioner temperature is 21 to 23°C in summer. The high humidity of Northern Australia can promote mould growth in air conditioners that are used infrequently. It’s important to use your air conditioner frequently to regulate internal humidity and tackle this problem. In turn, that can keep your air conditioner running without restriction. 


Set your winter heating to 17°C in winter. In the tropics, humidity can still be an issue in winter, so we would suggest frequent use for the same reasons as above.

Central Australia

This region has an arid climate.


The most efficient air conditioner temperature is 21 to 23°C in summer. Central Australian summers are particularly harsh, and there’s often a lot of atmospheric dust. It’s important to make sure that your filters are regularly cleaned so that your air conditioner can perform efficiently.


Set your winter heating to 17°C in winter. Central Australia is an area of extremes, and winters can produce cold dry conditions. Your air conditioner will be able to maintain a temperature of 17°C without having to work too hard.

South Australia

This region has a Mediterranean climate.


The recommended air conditioner temperature for Australians in this region is 24 to 25°C in summer.


Set your air conditioner’s reverse cycle heating to a pleasant 19 to 20°C in winter.  This climate offers little humidity, and quite mild conditions during winter and summer. That means air conditioners can maintain this temperature comfortably.


This region has a mild temperate climate.


In summer, the best temp for aircon in Tasmania is 2°C. However, it’s important to work with the prevailing conditions, which can be variable in a Tasmanian summer. If temperatures drop significantly, we would recommend adopting winter settings for your air conditioner, as below.


In Tasmanian winter, air conditioners perform best and most economically at 21°C. It’s important to recognise that Tasmanian conditions vary significantly between the coast and interior, so you will need to exercise discretion if you’re living in sub-zero temperatures.

South western area of Western Australia

This region has a Mediterranean climate.


In the south western area of Western Australia, air conditioners work best when set between 23 to 24°C.  However, your settings might change depending on the weather conditions. If there is a cold snap, you may need to adjust your settings to winter conditions, for optimal efficiency.


In winter, the best temperature for reverse cycle heating is 18°C.

South East New South Wales, North East Victoria and Australian Capital Territory

This region has an oceanic climate.


Throughout this region, the best temperature for air conditioners during summer is between 26°C to 27°C. Being inland regions, these areas are subject to sudden cold snaps, in which case you should consider adjusting your settings to those recommended below. Optimising the efficiency of your system will require ongoing attention, as the weather conditions change.


For a cosy winter, the ideal AC temperature is 20°C. Winter is stable in these areas, which means you will rarely need to adjust your settings over this period.

Southern Victoria

This region has a moderate oceanic climate.


For best results in summer, set your AC temp to 24°C. This temperature is ideal in standard summer conditions, as well as seasonal heat waves. Although it may be tempting to adjust it downwards when heat waves pass, doing so may compromise the efficiency of your air conditioner, and result in a bigger power bill.


To keep your home toasty in winter, we recommend an ideal aircon temp of 20°C. Winter conditions are stable in southern Victoria, and your air conditioner is unlikely to require much adjustment to maintain the highest level of efficiency.

Why do the recommended temperatures vary between regions?

Air conditioners have to work harder to offset extreme temperatures. This means people living in warmer climates should set their cooling temperature a little lower, while people in cooler climates should set their heating temperature a little warmer. 

It’s important to remember that while efficiency is important, so is comfort. The whole point of air conditioning is to maintain comfortable and liveable temperatures, even in harsher climates. Air conditioners can be expensive to run when efficient, so the optimal temperature is one that strikes the best balance between comfort and cost.

What is the most economical way to run an air conditioner?

On the hunt for the most economical way to run an air conditioner? The best long-term method is to avoid putting excess strain on it. Essentially, the harder your air conditioner has to work to cool or heat a room, the more electricity it will consume.

Setting your air conditioner to the recommended air con temp for your climate will not only help reduce greenhouse emissions, but it will also ensure you still enjoy a comfortable temperature while cutting your electricity bill.

Settings are only one part of the process though. It’s also important to keep your air conditioner in good repair. Clogged ducts, blocked filters, and old components all result in further strain on your air conditioner, which lowers its efficiency. If your air conditioner needs to force air through a blocked filter, then its compressor is going to work much harder, which draws more power and costs you more money.

Maintaining the right settings and cleaning your air conditioner frequently are two great ways to optimise your efficiency, and reduce both your bills and your carbon footprint.

How to use AC with less power consumption

The question of how to reduce electricity consumption of your air conditioner can be tricky. Here are some useful air conditioning tips to save energy, no matter the season or where you live.

Tip #1: Choose an energy efficient air conditioner

Most split system air conditioners have a label with a blue and a red star rating. The blue star rating shows its energy efficiency when cooling, and the red star rating demonstrates its heating efficiency. Choosing an energy efficient air conditioner is a smart strategy that can save lots of money in the long run. Most systems market themselves as energy efficient, but it’s worth looking into it a bit further. Even the slightest increase in efficiency can translate into significant savings over time, so you need to look past the marketing hype. The most energy efficient systems are more expensive to begin with, but it’s an investment that will pay off.

Tip #2: Invest in good insulation and sealing

If the home or building you are attempting to heat or cool has poor sealing or insulation, your air conditioner will need to work harder to reach the temperature you have set. This can lead to higher electricity bills. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your air conditioner’s performance, we recommend making sure your home’s sealing and insulation is up to scratch. This will ultimately help increase the lifespan of your air conditioner and keep your electricity bills under control.

Tip #3: Clean your air conditioner

Dirty air conditioners are less efficient, and they can threaten your health as well. Because air conditioners process so much air during the heating and cooling process, they also consume a lot of debris. It only consists of small airborne particles, but that’s all it takes to clog filters and reduce efficiency. We would recommend monthly filter cleans, and biannual services as a baseline, if you use your air conditioner frequently. 

Tip #4: Think about ducted air conditioning

Ducted air conditioning can be a more energy efficient option for larger homes, or commercial spaces. If you choose a late-model ducted air conditioner, you can get temperature zoning, which segments your home and allows you to concentrate cooling efforts where they’re needed most. Using smartphone apps or central regulators, ducted air conditioners can cut cooling to rooms that aren’t in use, or even turn on and off with sensor technology. As a result, your energy won’t be wasted cooling empty or unoccupied rooms.

Tip #5: Use air conditioner timers

If you like to sleep with the air conditioner on, then timer technology can help you optimise air conditioner efficiency and save money. By setting your air conditioner to a timer, you can enjoy comfortable temperatures for the warmest parts of the night. Without sunlight, your room is likely to remain at a comfortable temperature, without the need for constant air conditioning.

Eager to start saving money on your air conditioning bill this season? Contact Crown Power today on 0427 175 654 (Brisbane & Sunshine Coast) or on 0409 678 803 (Gold Coast).