Summer and its scorching temperatures are arriving soon, making us reach for the air-conditioner remote and the ceiling fan switch. To avoid potential bill shock, we’ve gathered a collection of energy-efficient tips that can really make a difference. Read on for more…
Get to know your property’s appliances
We’re all familiar with the go-to tips: turn appliances off at the wall where possible, zone your air-conditioning and don’t leave lights on in rooms you’re not using. There are, however, some simple changes you can make that might not be as obvious.
First, take a look at the appliances in your home that use the most energy – this will generally be your fridge, washing machine, clothes dryer, dishwasher, air-conditioners or hot water system. If any upgrades are due, invest in appliances with the highest energy-rating labels to minimise their long-term running costs.
While inspecting, check your fridge or freezers’ seals to see if they are intact and not wearing away. If any cold air is escaping, this will cause the appliance to work harder and drive up its energy usage. It’s also smart to set your fridge’s temperature to three or four degrees, while your freezer should be between -15 and -18 degrees.
Similarly, running air-conditioners at an extra-chilly temperature is a quick way to run up a pricey electricity bill. According to the Queensland Government, you can save up to 10% off cooling costs for every one degree that you raise the temperature. Ideally, set your air-conditioner to anywhere between 23 and 26 degrees for optimum results. Also, give any units a decent clean once every six months and properly clean out the filter. Trapped build-up can lead to reduced airflow and the unit will have to work harder to pick up the slack, creating unnecessary extra power usage.
Lastly, don’t forget to consider your home’s outdoors. Homeowners with swimming pools, give thought to installing an energy-efficient pool pump and timer. A five-star or better-rated energy-efficient pump could save up to 80% on your pool’s running costs – now that’s something to keep in mind! Not unlike with air-conditioners, a clogged-up pool filter or water inlet can make pool pumps less effective and more costly to run.
Effective home upgrades
Whether you’re thinking of renovating your home or you’re building new, there are a number of clever design details that you can include to minimise your energy usage. Of course, installing solar-powered solutions are a fantastic way to be both energy-conscious and sustainable, but there is more you can do.
To save on heating or cooling costs over time, look into installing quality home insulation and window furnishings. Blocking out sunlight during the warmer months with effective screening can keep the property’s interior feeling significantly cooler, while installing thick curtains and windows can create warmth in winter.
If you’re building new, it’s also recommended that you position the home’s doors and windows in a way that maximises cross-ventilation and encourages breezes to flow throughout. Outside, manage heat and sunlight by planting shading greenery – effective and beautiful!
Seeking a hassle-free upgrade? Energy-efficient LED light bulbs can consume 80% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and can last five to ten times longer, helping to keep energy bills at a minimum.
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