Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tips for Keeping Your House Cool This Summer

When the hot summer weather sets in, it can be tempting to simply switch on the air conditioner to get some relief. However, as energy prices continue to rise, this can be an expensive option when the energy bill comes around. Luckily, there are lots of ways that you can cut down your power use that will not only save you money, but also reduce your impact on the environment. So, if you’re interested in cutting down the amount of energy you use cooling your home this summer, here are some easy and effective ways to reduce your energy use.

Create Natural Draughts

The strategic opening of windows on opposite sides of your house can harness cooler summer breezes and create a natural draught. The cool air will flow through your house and create a refreshing breeze. The time that this will be most effective is later in the afternoon as the air temperature drops.

Shade Unprotected Windows

Did you know that windows absorb up to 10 times as much heat as the same area in an insulated wall? If you have windows in your house that receive direct sunlight, particularly in the heat of the day, shading them with awnings or thick curtains will prevent heat from entering your home and significantly reduce the indoor temperature. It is also a good idea to draught proof your home by sealing up doors and windows to ensure that cool air generated from air conditioners will stay indoors and reduce the amount of time you need them switched on.

Cook Outside

Using the oven or the stovetop can make for a stifling and uncomfortable kitchen, so summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the great Aussie tradition of the outdoor BBQ. It’s also a good idea to use appliances that produce heat – such as irons, hair dryers and washing machines – in the cooler parts of the day when the sun has gone down. Even small appliances can increase the temperature of your home and change it from pleasant to uncomfortable.

Fans

Ceiling fans cost approximately one cent an hour to cool a room. Air conditioners, in contrast, cost approximately $1 an hour to cool your home. If possible, always turn the fan on before the air conditioner.

Insulation

Insulating your home can save an average 3-person household up to $150 a year in energy costs. Insulating your home prevents the hot air from getting in, and the cold air from getting out in summer - and vice versa in winter meaning it’s a year-round investment. Insulation can reduce the heat of your house by up to 7 degrees in the summer months.

Shut off Rooms

By closing the doors to rooms that you’re not using, you’ll reduce the space that you need to cool. If you’re using air conditioning, only use it to cool the rooms that you use the most. By simply closing the doors to other rooms in your house, you’ll reduce the amount of air conditioning that you’ll need.

This summer, there are a number of smart and simple ways to cool your home without using a lot of energy. While there’s always days when air conditioning can be a relief, there are ways to stay comfortable inside without spending a lot of money. So this summer, why not adopt some of these practices. Not only will you be doing your part to reduce the effect on the environment, but you’ll be saving money in the process!



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