How to keep your temperature (and your power bill) low
Almost as soon as spring ‘sprang’, temperatures already began to hit the 30s in parts of Australia. But household power bills don’t have to soar with the temperature in the quest to stay cool according to Energy Australia Product and Sales Manager Gavin Lewis.
“Forecasters are predicting another long, hot summer so it’s important to find ways to keep cool,” Gavin said. “While running an air-conditioner full blast all summer will keep the house temperature low it will inevitably cost you a fortune when the energy bill arrives.’
“There are many ways people can keep temperatures cooler this summer, whether it’s installing window coverings or servicing cooling units, using a fan, or investing in some clever landscaping. “Blocking draughts, sufficient installation in ceilings and walls, and buying the right sized unit for the area you’re cooling are all important considerations to lower energy costs.
“Even setting your air conditioner to a higher temperature than you normally would during hot weather can cut cooling costs. Running your air conditioner doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. It’s about making sure it’s running efficiently so it’s not working overtime to keep the family comfortable.”
Ways to save energy this summer
- Set temperatures on the air conditioner between 24 and 25 degrees. Setting an air conditioner just one degree warmer than you normally would can cut cooling costs by 10 per cent.
- Only cool the areas people are in by using zoned cooling or alternating between separate units.
- Add window coverings such as drapes or roller blinds that fit snugly around windows. This can reduce seasonal heat exchange by almost half. Blinds with light coloured backings on window-facing sides deflect sun heat.
- Get in early on a hot day and close windows, lower blinds and close off rooms not in use to reduce heating inside.
- Plant shade trees, wall vines and thick shrubs. Think about shade covering for not only windows but walls and roofs as well. Planting smart for summer can cool a home by up to 12 degrees.
- Add exterior shades or awnings. This can decrease the temperature in a room by up to 3 degrees.
- Open windows both sides of the house to allow cool breeze to flow through.
- Use fans to cool down. Fans are cheap to run, evaporating moisture from the skin and creating a cooling effect.
- When buying a new air conditioner, consider the size of the room. A unit too small for the space will need to run constantly but one too big will run in short cycles, causing extra wear and tear.
- Ensure air conditioners are in good shape by regularly cleaning or replacing the filter, keeping outdoor equipment for the system free of dirt, leaves and other debris, and covering the external part of the system when not in use during cooler months.
- Check the insulation in ceilings and walls. The better the insulation, the more likely cool air will stay where it’s needed.
- Draught-proof your home if you use an air conditioner. This will further ensure refrigerated air stays inside to cool your home efficiently.