Whether you live in sunny Perth, Western Australia, or anywhere else in our beautiful country, using your air conditioner during the hot, summer months is often a must. But keeping your home cool and comfortable can result in significant power consumption and, as a result, high electricity bills.
How do you save money and reduce power consumption while still being able to cool your house? Here are our top money saving tips that won’t leave you and your family sweaty or your back pocket empty.
1. Give it a rest at night
One of the easiest ways to save money on your power consumption is by switching your air conditioner off at night. Apart from the fact that most nights are naturally cooler than the preceding day, having the air con on during the day often allows the home to be sufficiently cool to ensure you can fall asleep comfortably.
On a biological level, your body runs at a much lower temperature when you sleep so you don’t need the same level of air conditioning during the night as you do during the activity of the day. Of course, you can always leave a window or two open to allow a cross breeze through and take advantage of the cooler night air if need be as well.
2. The thermostat is your friend
Did you know that the lower the temperature set on your thermostat the harder your air con has to work? And the harder your air con has to work, the higher your energy consumption and power bill! It can be tempting to blast out icy cold air on a hot day but in reality the optimal thermostat setting is 24 degrees. For every single degree lower than 24 you set it, your power usage will increase by approximately 5-10%! Fortunately, a home cooled to 24 degrees is more than comfortable.
3. Use the timer
Most air conditioners nowadays come with built-in timers that allow you to set on and off times with ease. This gives you significantly greater control in how and when your air conditioner is turned on. If you’re out of the house for a large section of the day, make sure that your air con isn’t blasting away with no one around to benefit from it.
4. Close the door(s)!
Your air conditioner doesn’t know which room you want to cool, so it will keep working away at your thermostat’s set temperature for as long as you let it try to cool the entire house. If you’re sitting in one room, why not simply close the doors of the other unoccupied rooms of the house? That way, your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the room you’re in and won’t be wasting power sending cooled air throughout the rest of your empty home! It’s an easy, simple way to save you money.
5. Make the most of the power of shade
Air cons are a must-have during the Perth summer, but there are other highly effective ways to cool your home in conjunction with a reliable air conditioner. Keeping your blinds, drapes or curtains closed (even roller blinds if you have them) during the heat of the day can drastically lower the temperature inside.
Shading the inside of your home from the heat of the sun doesn’t cost you a cent and will mean your air conditioner won’t use as much energy trying to keep the house cool. If you’re installing blinds or curtains, we recommend choosing light colours that will help deflect the hot rays of the sun rather than absorb them. There are even specially designed shades out there that are made specifically to be ‘sun resistant’.
If you’re wanting to take your shading to the next level, consider where you plant your trees outside. Strategically placed shade can really affect how cool the inside of your home is.
6. Turn off other appliances
From light bulbs to ovens and computers to TVs, if you’re not using other electrical or electronic appliances in your home, turn them off! The cumulative amount of heat emissions from other home appliances can be significant. Getting into the habit of turning off the items you’re not using can help lower your energy usage and help your air con do its job even better.
7. Consider solar
Why not use the power of the sun against itself? Solar panels are especially effective in Perth, where we experience a significant amount of hot and sunny days. Investing in a solar power system today will help you save money for years and years to come!
About the Contributor/Author:
This post was provided by Stinson Air & Solar. To find out more, visit Stinson Air & Solar or the showroom at Home Base.