If there’s anything Aussies can predict each year, it’s the July 1 energy price hike. And as the country heats up, we’ve seen many drastic methods come into play to keep energy usage under control in households. For instance, Queenslanders may soon be asked to keep air-cons at 26 degrees, while Victorians can earn credits on their bill by switching their air-con off for 30 minutes a day. But if you’re keen to prep your home for summer a simpler way, here are 8 tips to help keep your energy bill as low as possible.
Be a hermit by day...
One of the simplest ways to prepare for summer’s blaze is to box yourself in. By closing windows and curtains during the day, you’ll prevent 30% of unwanted heat from entering your home! Semi-dark curtains with plastic backings or ‘blackout curtains’ work best when it comes to keeping out heat and saving your bank account.
...but an open book by night.
Despite the blazing days, we’re often rewarded with cooler nights. Before heading to bed, open every window to ventilate your home. Using the natural breeze is not only a great way to cool your home, but cool down your energy bill too.
Think of fans as aircons’ cheaper but just as effective cousin. Energy auditor and sustainability educator, Matt Ruffin, says fans are your next best ally after air conditioners as they use “between one-25th and one-50th of a the energy of a small reverse cycle air conditioner”. Make sure to look for a fan that has an adjustable airflow and speed to get you through those really hot days, and if you’re planning to use the fan during the night, grab the one that’s most silent in the store!
Shed some new light.
Did you know that fluorescent light bulbs can help you save 50% on your lighting costs? If that doesn’t make you want to switch light bulbs, we don’t know what will. Another way to reduce your lighting costs is to channel your mother’s voice and remember to always turn the lights off when you’re not using them.
Breakup with your sheets.
Whenever a new season rolls around, most Aussies enjoy sprucing up their bedroom with new decor. However, your trendy bed spread will be the least of your worries once you wake up in mountains of sweat. Stop yourself from overheating by changing out your regular sheets to a set of cotton or bamboo sheets, as they’re more breathable and are great sweat-wicking fabrics.
Give your air-con some love.
Your air-con is always there for you, so return the favour by cleaning or replacing its filters before summer hits. It’s also a good idea to clean the evaporator coil if you haven’t already, as these generally need to be cleaned once a year. While you may roll your eyes at the effort this takes, keep in mind that your air-con performs at its best when looked after - slashing your bill in the process.
Plant some trees.
For our next tip, you’ll need a quick trip to the nursery and a free weekend. Planting trees around your home will not only make your home look more inviting, but you’ll get a natural source of shade for your home. Make sure you plant the trees on east and west sides - these are the areas where the sun hits the most.
Focus on you first.
Our bodies constantly work to regulate our temperature, which is why summer is synonymous with sweat. And while these other tips will help keep your home cool, it’s more efficient to chill out yourself. There are heaps of ways to do this, from applying cold cloths to the back of your neck, wrists and chest to filling a few spray bottles with ice water and spritzing yourself whenever you need to. But one that takes the cake, or curry rather, is eating spicy foods. While eating a spicy a meal will make you sweat, you won’t be rising your body temperature. Just do those around you a favour by having deodorant near by!
But the biggest energy saving tip for the summer is to switch providers and get onto a better value energy plan - you can do this by heading over to our energy comparison tool.