How much does it cost to install and run air conditioning? Everything you need to know | The Sun

WITH temperatures across the UK soaring, keeping cool has become a hot topic.

Research by comparison website Uswitch shows online searches of air conditioning units spiked by over 360% the week before last.

But how expensive is it to install air conditioning, and are the knock-on effects on your energy bills worth it?

Uswitch found adding air conditioning to just one room in your home starts from around £1,000.

And while you may only want air con on in your bedroom at night to stay cool, it's not just the initial installation costs to consider.

Built-in air conditioning units also have high running costs, adding around £5.29 per week to your energy bills, Uswitch estimated – that's if you use them for just one hour every day.

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Research by Moneytransfers.com also estimates having air con could up your energy bills by a staggering 123% a month as well, although this was based on a 7kw unit being run for 20 hours a day.

So if you just wanted to use the unit when catching some shut eye, you'll likely be looking at a third of the cost.

Of course, the exact running cost will vary based on how much energy efficient a model you buy, how often you use it and how much you pay for your energy.

Hot spells such as the one we're experiencing in the UK are very rare as well, so you're not likely to use air conditioning all-year round.

Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch, said: “Hot spells in the UK tend to last just a few weeks a year, so it is worth weighing up whether an air conditioning unit is good value for money.

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She added: "Costs to keep cool have risen more than 60% in the last year as energy prices have rocketed."

As the cost of living crisis sees many households hit with higher energy bills, as well as food and fuel costs, it's worth exploring alternatives to air con.

Sarah said: "Cheaper alternatives include portable air conditioning units and air coolers, which blow warm air over ice cold water to send a cool breeze around a room.

“A standard desktop fan is the cheapest way to cool yourself, both in terms of upfront costs and its lower energy consumption."

What are the other alternatives?

If you don't want to pay anything at all, there are some simple tricks you can employ to keep cool.

Here are just some of the ways you can keep from sweltering in the heat.

Close the blinds

Keeping your blinds or curtains closed during the day will stop the sun shining in and keep your room cooler.

The NHS website recommends using shades or reflective material outside your windows as well.

If this isn't possible, you should use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed.

And where possible, try not to use metallic blinds or dark curtains as this will make the room hotter.

Take out those chargers

Plugged in chargers can emit heat, and while it may not make a massive difference to the overall temperature of the room by taking them out of your sockets, you're better off charging anything outside your bedroom to prevent creating extra heat.

The same goes for other electrics – so save on your energy bills and keep cooler all in one move.

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Wear pyjamas

It might feel counter-intuitive to put on clothes when going to bed, but experts say it can actually make you cooler.

Dr Guy Leschziner, consultant neurologist and sleep physician, told the BBC: “If you’re wearing a natural fabric like cotton it acts as a wick for your sweat and it can increase the surface area for the sweat to evaporate, thus may make you feel much cooler."

The UK is set to be hotter than the Sahara this week as temperatures soar to the late 30s.

Some schools are closing early and people are being urged to work from home where possible.

If you think it's too hot at your place of work or are concerned about your children at school, we previously explained your rights.

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