Summer has arrived and naturally, the average temperature has risen. There is not much use for a heater and now its time for the air conditioner to do its work. As we know, the heat can be extreme in Australia over summer. It is not uncommon for temperatures to rise into the 40’s. Relief can be found at a pool or even a shopping complex. But, eventually, you will need the help of an air conditioner when you are home.
Unfortunately, running an air conditioner 24 hours a day will cost you a lot of money. Here are some tips to keep your home cool and reduce your bill.
1. After the sun has set turn off your unit. Open all your windows and take advantage of the cool night air. This will help cool your home down faster while you sleep. Try and get as much air flow through your home as possible.
2. Thermostats and Timing Settings
When it comes to energy consumption and reducing your air conditioning bill over summer, every degree matters!
So one of the most energy-efficient things you can do is set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature that won’t make your unit work too hard, but will still make you feel like you’re sitting pretty. As a guide, somewhere between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius is where you should set the thermostat. Be aware, that for every single degree of cooling you can do without, you’re saving on your energy bill. So avoid setting it too cold in the summertime. Even setting your air conditioning unit one degree warmer than you normally world can cut costs by up to 10%. As a rule, try not to set the thermostat less than 8 degrees below the outdoor temperature (so if it’s 30 outside, aim for 22 or 23 degrees Celsius inside).
To really help reduce your energy bill, consider a thermostat with a built-in timer, so you’re not only setting the temperature but setting the hours of operation for maximum energy efficiency. It makes sense to have a system that does it for you automatically, so you can set, and forget. And save of course.
3. Get shady and shut out the sun
Shade, shade, shade. However you can get it, grab it, and it will help your home stay cooler. Therefore, your air conditioning unit won’t have to work so hard, and your energy bill will be reduced. It’s simple. During a hot Aussie summer, you can’t turn down the sun, but you can add some shade to turn down the heat.
The first way to get shady is to keep blinds, curtains, drapes, and awnings drawn and closed. Whether it’s Venetian blinds, roller blinds, plantation shutters or lined curtains, keep that beautiful sunshine outside where it belongs. For sun-facing windows, light-coloured backings for blinds and curtains will help deflect sun heat too.
By closing windows, blinds, shutters or drapes, you’ll be keeping the hot air and the sun’s rays out, so your air conditioning doesn’t have to run all the time to maintain the optimal temperature. Heat absorption can be drastically reduced if your windows have a strong line of defense. Even tinted windows can stop some of the sun’s heat coming into your air-conditioned sanctuary, and your unit won’t have to work so hard.
Want some more ways to throw shade and reduce air conditioning bills? Consider Mother Nature’s original shade maker – trees. Plant trees, vines or shrubs that can add a defensive line of shade to the house – consider the walls and roof as well as the windows.
4. Turn off those heat-emitting culprits
The television, the computer, the printer, the lamp in the corner, the kitchen oven… all of these household essentials generate bucketloads of heat and will be forcing your air conditioner to work harder to keep the temperature under control. Turn them off and you’ll save money on your air conditioning energy consumption straight away!
What can you turn off? Can you turn off lights in unused areas of your home?
Are you game to unplug? Can you turn off the television or any other appliances? Those tablets, computers and printers emit a lot of heat that can make your air conditioner work harder. Who knows, it might even help bring back the art of conversation (or perhaps cause a family mutiny!)
Why not try cooking the dinner on the BBQ outside, or enjoy a lovely salad that requires no cooking at all? Your indoor stove can really heat up your living space and add to your air conditioning bill.
So if you want to keep your energy consumption and air conditioning bill down, think about al fresco food preparation. Who doesn’t love a snag or a steak cooked on the BBQ in Summertime? And if it keeps your house cooler, all the better.
5. Keeping it clean to keep costs down
Here’s one more awesome tip to reduce your air conditioning bill over summer. Ensure your air conditioning unit is regularly maintained and that the filter is either replaced or cleaned to maintain optimum efficiency. A dirty filter makes any air conditioning unit work harder, meaning more electricity and higher energy costs!
Here’s to a long hot summer, and keeping cool when the bills come in.