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Blog Post Tuesday 12 February 2019

Don’t Sweat It: Energy Hacks For Your Home This Summer

Don’t Sweat It: Energy Hacks For Your Home This Summer

Keeping your home cool over summer can be energy intensive. The continual running of air conditioners, fans, and increased water usage may keep you and the household cool but at a hefty price. Beating the sweltering Australian heat doesn’t have to result in high energy bills or by seeking solace in the shade outdoors, it just requires some useful energy hacks to help you save electricity as wisely as you can along with some helpful tips to passively cool your home without the need of excessive energy consumption. Here are our top 10 tips to keep your home cool and your energy bill down during summer.

Tip #1 - Switch off power at the wall

One of the simplest ways to save energy during summer is by switching off at the socket. Many households leave appliances on ‘standby mode’ with the false belief that not a lot of energy is being expended since the screen is off. Unfortunately, standby mode drains a lot of power and is responsible for up to 10% of your household energy bill. This can be significantly increased if you have your TV or gaming console on standby mode along with running cooling systems over summer.  Luckily there’s a simple solution to reducing standby power consumption; switching power off at the wall. By doing so, you’ll be saving a significant amount on your energy bill while saving the environment at the same time. This can be a hassle to do, but once you get into the habit of practising some easy hacks for managing standby power, you’ll see a drop in household bills over the summer months.

 

Tip #2 - Air dry your laundry

Take advantage of the dry summer days by forgoing the clothes dryer and hanging washing out on the line, instead. Clothes dryers are notorious energy-drainers, not to mention they can heat up the home even more during summer. Air drying your laundry in favour of using a dryer each week can save you up to $200 a year. On a hot day, your clothes will be dry in no time hanging out on a washing line. If you live in an apartment or don’t have access to space for a washing line, consider investing in a clothes airer or rack which you can set up indoors or on a balcony.

 

Tip #3 - Wash using cold water

Taking cooler showers and setting your temperature to cold when washing clothes or dishes can help cool the home as well as reduce the energy that goes toward heating water. About 80% of the energy a washing machine uses goes towards heating water. When it comes to dishes, past data would have people believe that hot water washes best also. However, new detergents on the market today are designed to work better in cold water. This simple switch will save you money as well as reduce your carbon footprint. Not to mention the heat from a sink of hot water can heat up a room during summer quite substantially. Remember to leave dishes out on the rack to air dry and if using a dishwasher, always use only when you have a full load.

 

Tip #4 - Use energy efficient appliances

Most of us may be unaware or indifferent toward the star energy rating system on our household appliances. However, using an appliance with a higher star rating can mean a significantly smaller energy bill. 33% of your household energy bill comes from common electrical appliances such as the fridge. By investing in energy efficient appliances, you have a chance at reducing your energy bill by as much as $1000 a year. Over summer, air conditioning units can cost a household up to $1,296 if running all day every day. To lessen the money you spend while still keeping the house cool, opt for energy-efficient units or rely on ceiling and standing fans. It also pays to use a timer on your air conditioner and only activate it for use during the hottest part of the day or when there’s no breeze to help cool the room down.

 

Tip #5 - Keep the curtains closed

Simply shutting the doors and keeping the windows and curtains closed in the morning will help to keep the cool air in and the hot air out. The sun’s rays coming through the window can warm up the house remarkably. By drawing the curtains or pulling down the sunshade, it gives you a far better alternative than switching the air conditioner on and increasing energy use. For air movement on those particularly sticky hot days, simply use a ceiling fan or standing fan.

 

Tip #6 - Open windows after sunset

To avoid the daytime heat coming in, open the doors and windows as soon as the sun begins to set and when there’s most likely to be a cool breeze outside. Passively cooling your home this way can keep the household cool overnight and provide a bit of crosswind to circulate hot & stuffy air.

 

Tip #7 - Insulate your home

Insulation serves two purposes; it prevents heat from escaping during winter and traps cool air inside during summer. If you can’t afford to install insulation in your home, then consider insulating it by draught-proofing your doors and installing blackout blinds to keep any hot air and sunlight out. A well-insulated home provides year-round comfort and cuts your heating and cooling bills in half.

 

Tip #8 - Use plants to help cool indoors

Another way to cool the home without the use of power is by investing in some indoor plants. There are plants that can help to keep the air cool while also acting as purifiers; ridding of any toxins and pollution in the air. Plants keep your home cool because they lose water during transpiration, which acts as a natural cooling system decreasing air temperature by up to 10 degrees.

 

Tip #9 - Avoid heat-generating activities during the day

If you reside in your home for the most part of the day, you can simply reduce the need for energy-sucking appliances by getting out of the house during the hottest times of the day. Think about doing your grocery shopping during the day, not only is it cool there but it means you don't have to keep the air conditioning running at home. If you haven’t been to the pool or beach in years, make a day of it with the family or friends. Seeking cool areas outside of the home and returning when the heat has died down means you won’t be needing the excessive use of cooling systems or appliances that you would otherwise if you were home.

 

Tip #10 - Choose the right energy plan

Choosing the right energy plan has the potential to save you a lot. To find the right plan for you, consider doing your research and compare the price of supply and usage charges. Choosing a greener or environmentally conscious energy retailer can be another consideration. To help you save on energy costs over summer, enlist the help of an energy retailer such as Click Energy to find the right plan for you.

 

Update your energy plan this summer

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