Spring and summer bring glorious weather, but they can also be uncomfortable months of stuffiness and sweating. Rather than blasting your air conditioner and landing yourself a power bill worth hundreds of dollars, here are some things you can do to stay cool and save money.
Curtains and Blinds
If you don’t have curtains in your living room, you’re allowing light and heat to enter in through the glass. The same is true of thin flimsy and light coloured curtains, so you’ll need thick heavy curtains that create total darkness. Glass acts to magnify the light and heat from outside, creating a kind of greenhouse effect in your house. If your window is facing east, the hot morning sun pours in and warms the room before you’ve woken up. You’ll make a huge difference to the temperature in your room by remembering to close your curtains at night, then opening them up when you’re awake.
TIP: Keep them partially closed during the peak of the day, between 12pm and 5pm.
Shrubs and trees do wonders when it comes to reducing heat from the sun, and they can be used to cool down your house in summertime. Windows facing west let in afternoon sun, which is the hottest. Planting a leafy green tree directly outside the window will serve to reduce the heat but allow enough dappled light into your house to keep it nicely lit.
TIP: Choose an evergreen tree and this will double up as an insulator and wind breaker in winter.
You may think your air conditioner is working fine, but often a replacing the old unit will cost you less in the long term. A new air conditioner will run for less time before cooling the room and it will use up less power. The same goes for fridges, which may seem sturdy and enduring, yet cost you more every year. The best way to find out if your appliances need replacement is by getting an energy assessment by a company that specialises in home energy audits. An expert will come to your home, check out all of your electrical items, and tell you whether they need repairs or replacements. They’ll take your energy bills into consideration to determine whether new appliances will save you cash.
TIP: Keep an eye on your local council’s news – they may be running free energy audits in your area. You can also contact a local air conditioning specialist, such as PK AirSystem Services, to get your air conditioner assessed.
With the sun blazing high overhead, summer is an ideal time to make the most of solar energy. Sure, solar panels are another investment, but once you’ve got them you’ll save hundreds of dollars on power every year. A family of four can save a lot of money, and the system itself adds value to your home. Get free energy from the sun and save on power bills during the hottest time of the year.
TIP: Your local government may be offering rebates or special deals on solar in order to promote clean energy. Scan your local newspaper or subscribe to a local energy organisation for news and great offers.