5 ways to save money on fans & air conditioners during a heatwave

How to save money when buying and using fans & air conditioners

How to save money on fans & air conditioners
(Image credit: Amazon)

Now that we’re into the summer months, the temperatures are getting higher and hotter than ever. One of the best ways to cool down and avoid the heat during a heatwave is by investing in a good fan or air conditioning unit.

If you’re looking for a new cooling system, you’ll most likely be looking at quite high prices for the best quality models and unfortunately, the cost of living crisis isn’t getting any easier. In general, it can be expensive to buy a new fan or conditioner and to run your current one as they can use a lot of energy, especially if you’re using them a lot during a heatwave.

As Deals Writer and Shopping Expert at T3, I’m constantly looking for ways to save money on everyday purchases. As we’re in the midst of some of the highest temperatures the UK has ever seen, I’m looking for ways to keep the costs down on the best fans (opens in new tab) and the best air conditioners (opens in new tab) so you can stay cool and save money at the same time.

Here, I’ve rounded up 5 ways to save money on purchasing and using fans and air conditioners, including buying tips and usage advice.

1. Shop the sales

If you’re on the hunt for a new fan or air conditioner to tackle the heatwave, your first step is to shop the sales. My biggest tip when buying anything is to make a list of what you want and need from a product, so I encourage you to do this before buying a new fan or air conditioner. While fans and air conditioners are both cooling devices, they are different from one another. Fans circulate the natural air around your home and air conditioners generate cold air. Due to these differences, fans can lean more towards the cheaper side whereas air conditioners are typically more expensive. If you’re on a budget or have a smaller living space, I’d suggest looking for a fan but if you have a larger home, an air conditioner is probably best for you.

Now you’ve decided what you want, it’s time to hunt for the best prices. Luckily, cheap fan and air conditioner deals are available during sales seasons when you actually need them, like spring and summer. Your go-to retailers to shop for cheap fan and air conditioners are Amazon (opens in new tab), Currys (opens in new tab), Argos (opens in new tab), Very (opens in new tab), John Lewis (opens in new tab), Appliances Direct (opens in new tab) and AO.com (opens in new tab). These retailers offer big price cuts on popular brands and devices but if you want to save even more money, have a look at eBay. eBay has amazing deals on both new and refurbished fans and air conditioners, including models from Dyson, Beldray and HOMCOM. Check out the best fan and air conditioner deals (opens in new tab) for more.

2. Invest in smart air conditioners & thermostats

My next tip is to invest in a smart air conditioner or thermostat. While you can find huge discounts on air conditioners and fans right now, they’re in high demand so they’re more likely to sell out quicker. By investing in a smart air conditioner or thermostat, this device will stay in your home all year round so you won’t have to worry about running out to the shops to find a fan when it gets hot. 

A smart air conditioner or HVAC system is a device that connects to your Wi-Fi via an app or virtual assistant. Whether you’re home or away, you can turn your heating or cooling on and off, adjust the temperature and set timers. Depending on the make or model you’re looking at, a smart air conditioner typically starts at £200 or higher. While this is a little pricey, they can help you save money in the long run as they limit energy wastage and maintain a cool and comfortable environment at lower temperatures. Overall, smart air conditioners or thermostats can help you save up to 25% on your energy bills with their scheduling, monitoring and temperature features.

If you’re choosing one of the best smart thermostats (opens in new tab), you’ll need to choose the right wall to put it on. If you place your thermostat next to a window or outside wall, it will read the room temperature as hotter than it actually is as it’s responding to the outside instead of the inside. This can rack up your energy bills as it will turn your AC or heating on more frequently. Similarly, by putting a smart thermostat in a room you don’t spend much time in, it will pick up cooler temperatures compared to the rest of the house. To make sure you’re getting the best results from your smart thermostat, make sure to place it in a room you use a lot and put it on an interior wall to get the most accurate readings.

Smart thermostats

(Image credit: Nest)

3. Choose an energy efficient device

The cost of living has arguably had the biggest impact on energy prices – see how to save money on your energy, water and electricity bills (opens in new tab) for more. During the heatwave, fans and air conditioners will be running for longer periods of time and will therefore use more energy which can rack up your bills at the end of the month. To avoid this, make sure to check out the energy efficiency of your cooling system.

When you buy an air conditioner, it will come with an ‘Energy Efficient Class’ rating. This is an energy label that provides information on how much energy or water an appliance uses. Whether you’re looking for an air conditioner, washing machine or freezer, the energy rating is on a scale from A to G. A is the best energy rating you can get and means that an appliance uses the least amount of energy to get the job done. On the other end of the spectrum, an appliance with a G rating uses a large amount of energy or water. When buying a new device and especially a fan or air conditioning unit, try to find a system that has an A-C energy rating to keep your energy bill down and to minimise your impact on the environment.

4. Set timers & schedules

Now that the heatwave is in full force, you’ve probably been keeping your fan or air conditioner on at all times of the day and night. It goes without saying that if you’re not at home, you should keep your fan or air conditioner switched off (unless you have a pet!). Of course, you’ll come back to a hot house at the end of the day but you won’t have wasted loads of energy, so it’s a good idea to set timers on your devices to save extra money.

Many air conditioners come with schedules and timers built into them, meaning they’ll turn themselves off after a certain amount of hours. You can stick to this schedule or set-up your own by putting a time limit on how long your fan is running for. It’s also a good idea to set a timer during the night and keep the temperature of your air conditioner low to keep your bills down.

How to save money on fans & air con

(Image credit: Raychan / Unsplash)

5. Improve your home’s heat maintenance

My final tip is to improve your home’s heat maintenance and try to make it as cool as possible without using a fan or air conditioner. As someone who lives in a small one-bed flat and doesn’t own a fan, I’ve found a few ways to keep myself and my home cool during this heatwave. Opening your windows is a cheap way to ventilate your home and get some clean natural air in. Most of the heat that enters your home is from sunlight on windows, so make sure to limit the amount of sun entering with blinds, shades, films or curtains.

For cheap offers on fans and air conditioners, have a look at the deal widget below for the latest prices.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Bethan Girdler-Maslen

As T3's resident Shopping Expert and Deals Writer, Beth covers deals, discount codes, how to save money and seasonal holidays, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Amazon Prime Day, Boxing Day and Easter sales. Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting DIY craft projects that will probably end in disaster!