Beat the Heat: Optimising Your Home's Energy Performance in the Australian Summer
The Australian summer heat is getting worse, and so is the financial strain from growing energy bills. However, there are plenty of affordable alternatives to beat the heat, so don't worry. Throughout the summer, we will walk you through a variety of energy-saving methods and techniques, with an emphasis on achieving a better home energy rating. Let's explore how to transform your home into a haven of cool comfort without hitting the energy bills to the roof.
Adding window coverings
You can cover your windows with thermally backed drapes or energy-efficient blinds (like honeycomb or Roman blinds) to keep your house cool. By doing this, the sun's heat won't enter your home. It is even preferable to keep the light off windows entirely. Construct shade structures such as shade sails and awnings or grow vines or trees. Deciduous plants and trees let light through in the winter and offer shade in the summer.
Using air conditioning efficiently
Prioritise using evaporative coolers or fans as a form of air conditioning. They are less expensive to operate and consume less energy than air conditioners. Air conditioning should be set to 23 degrees or above. In the summer, you can save up to 10% on your cooling costs for every degree you raise the thermostat on your air conditioner. When leaving home, don't forget to turn off air conditioners. With a smart system, you can programme air conditioners to switch on and cool your house before you get there. For optimal performance, have your air conditioner's filters cleaned.
Try to keep cool air inside
You can keep cool air inside by shutting doors and windows during the day and opening them at night to allow for fresher air. If your air conditioner is on, make sure all of your windows and doors are closed to retain the cool air. If you use evaporative cooling, however, you will need to leave some windows open. Gaps around doors, windows, and skirting boards allow cold air to escape. Using a caulking gun, you can seal the spaces around windows and doors. Warm air can also be prevented from entering during the day by using draught excluders such as door snakes.
Use appliances smartly
Postpone heat-generating tasks (such as cooking and ironing) for the cooler hours of the day. Steer clear of utilising machines that produce heat, such as clothes dryers. Cut costs by turning off useless gadgets at the power outlet. To turn off numerous appliances at once, think about investing in timers or smart power adaptors.
Prior to leaving, turn off
Why keep spending money on items you won't be using at home when taking a vacation might already be a costly endeavour? Make sure all of your appliances, including toasters, coffee makers, and TVs, are turned off at the wall before you leave your home.
Have a second refrigerator? Combine every item that perishes in your primary refrigerator and turn off the secondary refrigerator at the wall. Then unwind, enjoy your vacation, and settle back! Investing in smart plugs is an alternative. With the use of your smartphone, they let you turn switches on and off from anywhere.
Adjust your ceiling fans
There are moments when it seems like ceiling fans do little more than circulate hot air throughout your house. You may be correct; fans that aren't spinning counter clockwise might be doing precisely that.
In summer, turn your ceiling fans counter-clockwise to force air downward and aid in cooling; in winter, turn them clockwise to draw cool air upward. Set the fan speed to high in warmer weather and low in cooler weather for optimal results. Verifying that your ceiling fans rotate in the proper direction can significantly impact your home's temperature. Ceiling fans can also be utilised in conjunction with other cooling systems.
Hang out in the evening
During the day, closing your windows and remaining inside might be a fantastic idea, but in the evening, when it cools off, you might want to open your windows to allow natural cooling in. Just make sure to lock up at night. Take advantage of whatever cool air you can get when cooking dinner outside in the park or backyard. It might be a more refreshing option than standing in a hot kitchen.
Change your lights
Lightbulbs could be the cause if you're experiencing problems keeping your home cool and can't figure it out. Although many Australian houses are moving away from incandescent and halogen light bulbs, they are still widely used. Energy-saving light bulbs, such as LED lights, reduce heat production and help you save a tonne of money on energy bills while also improving your home's cooling. It's a win-win situation!
Maximise your solar energy
If you have solar power, timing is everything when optimising its energy. To conserve energy and reduce the cost of your electricity bills, consider moving your solar energy usage from the evening to the daytime.
Consider pre-cooling your house on summer afternoons when the sun is still high in the sky if your home has good insulation. The quantity of cooling energy required during the evening peak might be reduced.
There are contemporary cooling systems that let you set a timer. This implies that you can design your air conditioner to run continuously throughout the day to maximise the energy you receive from the sun. To ensure that the coolness is retained until you need it, remember that pre-cooling only functions in well-insulated homes.
Chill out, not chill on
To cool yourself off without turning on the air conditioning, take a cold shower, apply a moist towel to your neck and other pressure spots, or drink ice-cold beverages.
Hack a fan
Don't have an air conditioner? Don't worry! You only need a strategically placed bowl of ice to transform a fan into a cool mist generator. Place a pan or shallow basin of ice in front of a fan to create an affordable, refreshing breeze to create an affordable, refreshing breeze.
Opt for cotton
Cotton is an incredibly breathable fabric that aids in body cooling. Wear airy, light garments made of breathable materials, such as cotton, and cover your bed with cotton sheets.
With all these tricks and tips, you can make your home cool, beating the heat of a strong summer in Australia. Along with these strategies, an energy assessment is a good option before summer. It helps to get more energy efficiency by finding out the loops, if any.
If you want a safe assessment and at least a 6 star energy rating Victoria-wide, you can rely on a Superior Energy Rating.