While summer might be winding down, by no means is it over. And with Melbourne’s, shall we say, unpredictable weather, there’s every chance we might still be hit by another heatwave.
And with that, comes a lot of energy use.
Summertime is arguably the most energy-intensive period of the entire year. As such, it’s only natural to look for ways to bring your consumption down.
Luckily, it isn’t too hard if you know where to start!
Hack #1: use curtains, blinds, and rollers
While you can’t stop all heat from entering your home, you can definitely block out a sizeable chunk of it.
That’s because a lot of heat comes in with sunlight.
By blocking sunlight from entering your home, you can significantly reduce the amount of heat that seeps into your house – and by extension, reducing your reliance on air conditioning.
This tactic is especially effective if your home features light-coloured curtains and blinds.
Metallic rollers are even more effective, as metal reflects heat away!
In addition to blocking out heat, this tactic also has the side-effect of trapping cooler air inside.
We recommend closing all the curtains and blinds in windows that face the sun.
If you want, you can also close curtains and blinds on the other side of your house to stop heat from radiant sunlight entering too, though that step is optional.
What you won’t want to do is turn the lights on to compensate!
Hack #2: use your air conditioner timer
Many air conditioning systems come with in-built timers.
However, relatively few homeowners actively use this energy-saving feature!
You can save money by putting your air conditioner on a timer.
When it rings, you can switch your system off – alternatively, many systems will shut off automatically when this timer goes off, allowing you to save power even when you’re out or asleep.
Hack #3: pick your battles
It also pays to figure out when the hottest time of day is (3pm on most summer days). There are many instances where the heat is so extreme, that your air conditioner never really gets a break.
Think of it this way: if you use your air conditioner during the hottest time of the day, your system has to contend with high temperatures inside and out.
By contrast, waiting until it starts to cool down means your air conditioner only needs to contend with the temperature inside since the outside heat is dropping.
We know it mightn’t be very comfortable to sit through the hottest part of the day without cooling, so we don’t expect you to follow this piece of advice all of the time.
That said, it’s definitely worth considering, when possible!
Hack #4: unplug appliances when not in use
While not as large as your air conditioner, at the end of the day they still affect your energy bill.
If you’re worried about your bills, a good idea may be to turn these appliances off when they aren’t in use. That means unplugging your microwave and turning off your coffee machine.
It’s not much, but every little bit counts, and it certainly adds up!
Hack #5: set your fridge to the right temperature
While you can’t turn your fridge off to save power like other appliances, that doesn’t mean you don’t have any options.
Another thing you can do is adjust the thermostat in your refrigerator. While most fridges are set to 1-2°C, not all feeds need to be stored at such a low temperature.
In fact, according to Food Standards Australia, the majority of foods are safe if stored at 4-5°C or lower.
By setting the thermostat closer to 5°C, you may be able to reduce your fridge’s energy usage.
Just be sure to double-check what’s considered a safe temperature for everything in your fridge!
Hack #6: keep cool – naturally
When it comes to keeping cool, your air conditioner isn’t the only tool in your toolbox – your windows are another, often-overlooked way of cooling your house down.
Another good idea is to set your air conditioner to fan or ventilation mode when it cools down outside. Fan mode vents warm air out of your home, replacing it with cool air from outside.
The kicker? Fan mode uses half the energy as cooling mode, making it a less energy-intensive way of cooling.
Of course, you’ll want to wait until at least it partially cools down outside first!
Hack #7: take a shorter and cooler shower
There are two types of water heater:
- Tank storage: these systems keep a reservoir of hot water on standby 24/7
- Instantaneous: these systems heat up water was it passes through
Does your home use an instantaneous water heater?
If so, you may be able to save on your electricity or gas bill by taking shorter, cooler showers (well, it is summer after all!)
This reduces your hot water usage and by extension, your energy usage.
Save energy this summer with a Melbourne electrician
Saving energy is a constant, ongoing battle. Luckily, it’s one you don’t need to fight alone!
While these nifty energy-saving hacks can help you trim your energy bill, the best way to go about it is to refit your home with modern, energy-efficient fittings and appliances.
For example, did you know that LED bulbs consume a mere 4-25 watts of energy, as opposed to the 25-100 of an incandescent bulb?
Not only that, but they also last 50 times longer too!
That’s just one way our Melbourne electrician can help you save energy.
At Briggs Electrical, our experienced team provide all manner of electrical services. We can look at your home’s current electrical setup as well as your appliances, and quote you on getting them replaced.