Summer can be really punishing sometimes. Well, most of the time, especially during the working week when there’s not much time to relax by the pool or to get into the sea. Your home is a refuge from the sun, but as we all know, keeping it cool can be a costly affair and you may already be dreading your autumnal power bill!
Don’t despair, you can keep your cool after you get the bill as well as before by adopting these tips.
Bring the thermostat up a few degrees
Yep, you read that right! Every degree below 25C will increase the energy consumption of your aircon by 5% so if you can tolerate 25C or 26C indoors (remember, it may be ten degrees hotter outside!), then you’re onto a winner.
Bring in a ceiling fan
A ceiling fan doesn’t cost much to run so if you use it in conjunction with your aircon, you’ll get a double cooling effect while still saving. Ceiling fans move air, they don’t cool it; they work by snatching the warm air from immediately around your body. If you’re slightly sweaty, it also cools you by evaporation.
Keep your filters clean
If your filters are blocked then your aircon has to work that little bit harder, costing you that little bit more every day. Clean the filter at least once a week.
Only cool occupied rooms
Don’t bother cooling the bedrooms until you’re just about to go to bed. If you have central air, then close off the vents to rooms you’re not in so that the cool air only goes where it needs to.
Make sure the aircon units are the right size for each room
If the unit is too big, it’ll simply be a waste of money and if it’s too small it’ll constantly be on – and you’ll never feel cool enough! If you get the right size, it’ll work well and then it’ll power off for a few minutes when you’re at your desired temperature.
Use shades and blinds to prevent heat gain
Use pale curtains and simply shut them during the day. You can also install cheap white blinds for the summer as these will not only stop the sun from warming up your internal spaces, they’ll actually reflect light back out. Once the sun has gone down you can open them – and your windows – to let out any heat that’s had the nerve to accumulate throughout the day.
Seal doors and windows
Heat likes to travel to cooler areas, it’s just the way physics rolls. If you stop so much air getting in, you’ll save a few dollars. Imagine it’s winter with the heat escaping – only it’s summer with heat trying to get in.
Keep incandescent and halogen bulbsfirmly off
Until you really need them, that is. Don’t go groping around in the dark and fall over! Lightbulbs get hot and the one thing you don’t need is more heat! Aim to totally convert to LEDs by next summer as you’ll reduce your lighting costs by more than 90%
Give the oven a rest
Summer is for salads, right? If you can’t resist a roastie then fire up the barbecue or use a pressure cooker instead. No slaving over the proverbial hot stove for now!