Summer heat is one of the reasons our electricity bills soar at this time of year. By making a few small – yet smart – changes, you can reduce the heat in your home and cut your electricity bill in the process.
Here are our 8 Top Tips to beat the summer heat and crush those electricity bill blues:
1. Check your air-conditioner
Regular maintenance of your air-conditioner will keep it working efficiently and save you money on your electricity bill. The good news is that, for the most part, you don’t need an expert to do this. Cleaning your air filters and vents will remove any dust build-up and have your system performing its best. It’s also a good idea to give your system an expert service every few years.
Remember to only use the air-conditioner when necessary and set the temperature to 24°C or above – every degree lower will send your electricity bill soaring.
2. Use fans
At just 0.1c to 1.5c per hour to run, indoor fans are an incredibly affordable cooling option for your home. Their cooling effect works best when you are near them - they are less effective at cooling large spaces. But when you compare air-conditioner running costs of between 25c and 35c per hour¹, they are the perfect companion to get you through those hot summer nights.
3. Switch off
All appliances create heat if they’re switched on, whether they are being used or not. Turn off the standby power of your televisions, computer and other devices and avoid using the oven in the hottest part of the day to avoid generating unwanted heat in your home.
4. Switch to LED lighting
Now is the time to ditch those halogen globes and downlights for LEDs. They use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than their halogen counterparts². Plus, they emit less heat. If you replace 15 mains voltage halogen downlights with LEDs you could save $1251 over 10 years³. And you’ll have fewer lightbulbs to change!
5. Block out the heat
Windows are a weak point in the home that allow more summer heat in. External shading is the most effective way to prevent this heat transfer – think deciduous trees, awnings and shutters. You can also invest in double glazing or simply close curtains and blinds during the hottest part of the day.
6. Insulate your home
An uninsulated roof is a sure way to create a hot house! Check you have good coverage of insulation in the roof space and seal any gaps around windows and doors. Air leaks can use as much as 50% of the energy used to cool the home⁴ so it’s important to get them sealed.
7. Capture the breeze
When temperatures drop in the afternoon and early morning, open windows to let the breeze in. Opening doors and windows on opposite sides of a room or house lets the breeze flow, creating cross-ventilation. This will have a far greater cooling effect than just opening one window or door.
8. Follow the sun!
If you have solar, ensure you make the most of your solar window – the time when your solar system is generating power. The great thing about summer is that the sun sticks around a little longer, so you can delay using some of your appliances until late afternoon or you can set a timer for first thing in the morning.
Solar alone only does half the job, generating power when the sun is up and then drawing from the grid when the sun goes down. With a Plico solar + battery system, your battery will keep you cool all night, and you can easily monitor your energy use on the App to ensure you get the most out of your Plico system.
If you're not a Plico member and want to reduce your power bill, carbon footprint and beat blackouts, contact us on 1300 175 426, to find out which solar + battery system is right for you.