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This week the UK experienced a mini heat wave. The hottest temperature of the year was recorded at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday when mercury reached 32.6 ° C.
New survey data from Uswitch shows that more than two million households are considering buying a portable air conditioner to cope with the heat, probably in part because many Britons were working from home during the heat wave.
Uswitch says interest in portable air conditioners has increased 360 percent since the lockdown began. Additionally, search traffic for the term is up 133 percent compared to late May last year when temperatures hit 28.2 ° C.
While these devices can make your work and living environment more comfortable, they can also cause your energy bills to skyrocket. This is because these home appliances consume an average of 2.7 kW of electricity, which is the amount consumed by a washing machine or tumble dryer.
Research shows that homes with portable air conditioners tend to run them for around four hours during the day and five hours at night. Since they cost around 44p an hour, this means they can add around £ 28 per week to your energy bills. For this reason, if you’re running a portable device to stay cool in the heat, we recommend doing an energy comparison to see if switching to a better utility can find a cheaper energy deal and save you money on your bills.
In theory, your energy bills should be much lower in the summer months when you don’t have to turn on the central heating. But as we’ve seen before, changing your habits can cause your bills to go up.
For example, filling a paddling pool for the garden can cost you up to £ 16 if you’re on a water meter, and each extra 10-minute shower you take to cool off in the heat can cost you around 32p. If everyone in your household takes an extra shower each day, the cost of it can quickly add up.
Fortunately, there are some energy-conscious alternatives to using air conditioning if you want to save on energy bills. For example, if you use a desktop fan instead, you will only use 120W of power, which is almost 20 times less. If this doesn’t cool the air sufficiently for you, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan. This way the fan blows cool air continuously and costs only about 2p an hour to run.
Likewise, small changes in your home can make a big difference in temperature. While it is tempting to open the window and let the sunshine in, the sun warms everything it touches and your home can quickly turn into a greenhouse. Unless there’s a strong breeze blowing, keep the curtains closed to keep the heat out, which you can make best use of.