Summer’s here and we’re all looking forward to days at the beach, BBQs and long cold drinks. With it will undoubtedly come hot weather, air conditioners on full and increases in power bills. There are many ways to keep cool at home without running up unnecessary energy bills. Have you ever stopped to think about how many hours you need to work to pay a power bill?
Here are a few ideas to try and keep the heat at bay this summer.
Shade your windows
Keeping the sun off your windows during summer is key to keeping your home cool. Shading can be provided by external shade blinds, shade cloth or trees. This simple strategy helps to reduce heat build-up in the house, increases comfort and defers the need for air conditioning for a while.
Why shade the glass? Did you know that for every one square metre of glass the sun directly hits, the heat is radiated inside by over 35%. That’s equivalent to a one-bar electric heater being on in the house for every square metre of glass the sun hits. Stopping that with shading devices can make a big difference.
Using fans to circulate the air produces a cooling effect on the skin of between 3C to 6C. This helps you to feel cooler without having to use an air conditioner. Depending on your local energy rates, fans cost about 1.5 cents an hour to run, air conditioners cost around 50 cents an hour upwards to run. Fans are a great way to put off turning on that air conditioner and much cheaper to run.
Let the hot air out Efficient cooling
If you have evaporative cooling be sure to leave a few windows ajar.
If you have a reverse cycle or refrigerated air conditioner you’ll need to close off the area you are cooling to keep the cool air in while the system is on. Regularly check and clean the filters to ensure the system operates efficiently.
Regardless of the type of system you may have, consider increasing the temperature. Instead of having the temperature set at 20C, set it to 24C. It will still be cool, and for every 1C you save cooling, you could save up to 10% of the running cost.
The combined approach
To get a really efficient cooling use a fan in conjunction with the air conditioner. You can set the temperature on the air conditioner higher which will save on energy costs. With both running together you’ll get a great cooling effect for less energy, and less cost.
By implementing a few of these cooling tips you should be able to keep your cool this summer without breaking the bank on energy bills.