Consumer organisation CHOICE has offered a simple guide to staying cool over summer without spending a fortune on electricity.
As Australia braces for a sweltering season, there are simple habit tweaks you can do around your home to prevent restless muggy nights and hot sticky days.
To help people beat the heatwave and save on energy bills, the experts have shared their top tips so you can keep your home cooler in summer – including the exact temperature to set on an air conditioner and the cost of running a pedestal fan.
‘You may only need these tips a few weeks of the year, but when you need them you’ll really need them,’ CHOICE’s cooling expert Denis Gallagher said.
Consumer organisation CHOICE has offered a simple guide to staying cool over summer without spending a fortune on electricity. The experts suggested you’ll get a better efficiency from your air conditioner if you set the temperature difference between inside and outdoor your home of around 8°C (stock image)
TURN UP THE AIR CON
While most people set the air conditioner down to an arctic low number when the temperatures soar, it’s not always a good idea.
The experts suggested you’ll get a better efficiency from your air conditioner if you set the temperature difference between inside and outdoor your home of around 8°C.
So on a 35°C day, set your indoor thermostat to 27°C.
‘On scorching days, most people will still want a cooler temperature, but for maximum energy efficiency, try not to go too far beyond the 8°C difference – each degree cooler adds about 10 per cent to your air conditioner’s running cost,’ they said.
How to keep home cool in summer
1. Insulate: Insulated ceilings can make homes up to 35 percent cooler in the hot, summer months
2. Seal: Use insulation strips around windows and doors
3. Ventilate: Add whirly-birds or under-eave vents
4. Shade: Create shade in the house with awnings, blinds, pergolas, curtains, shutter and trees
5. Glaze and paint: Paint external and internal walls white or a lighter colour, and have windows glazed
6. Reduce air con: Air conditioning units should be set within 8°C of the outdoor temperature
7. Watch thermometer: Open windows when it’s cooler outside, and close them when it gets hotter inside
8. Turn lights off: Turn lights off wherever possible and replace halogens with LEDs
9. Use a pedestal fan: Pedestal fans are estimated to cost as little as $30 to run 24/7 for entire summer
10. Night-time dishwashing: Turn on kitchen appliances before bedtime
SOURCE: CHOICE Australia
PEDESTAL FANS ARE CHEAP TO RUN
Pedestal fans are incredibly cheap to run, with CHOICE calculating a total running cost of just $30 if you leave the fan on day and night, all summer long (stock image)
Low powered pedestal fans are often the only option for keeping cool during the long hot summer when you don’t have the budget for an air conditioner.
But what fans lack in strength, they make up for in cost-effective.
Pedestal fans are incredibly cheap to run, with CHOICE calculating a total running cost of just $30 if you leave the fan on day and night, all summer long.
TURN THE DISHWASHER ON AT NIGHT
The cheapest time to run a dishwasher or other high-powered household appliances is when the electricity provider switches to ‘off peak’ hours.
This period can cost up to 50 per cent less than running the appliance during peak hours, when electricity is most in demand like during the bulk of the business day from roughly 1pm to 7pm.
Kitchen appliances also generate heat, so it makes sense to let them run overnight.
The experts said so you’re better off waiting until bedtime to turn the dishwasher on as the room temperature will be far more bearable.
Turn your slow cooker on overnight to avoid overheating the kitchen during the day, CHOICE also recommended.
Most kitchen appliances such as dishwashers can generate a lot of heat. The experts said so you’re better off waiting until bedtime to turn the dishwasher on as the room temperature will be far more bearable (stock image)
PAINT HOUSE A LIGHTER COLOUR
While dark paint colours may be on trend, the experts explained how it can make your home hotter during summer.
A lighter colour scheme will ensure cooler temperatures come summer.
‘If you live in regions where the issue is mostly how to keep your home cool rather than keeping it warm, consider lighter tones for your home,’ the expert advised.
‘It’s as simple as that.’
If your house is hit with direct sunlight in the hot summer months, shield it with artificial shading like awnings, blinds, curtains and shutters.
The experts said a well-shaded home can block 90 per cent of the sun’s heat.
Planting deciduous trees around windows and glass doors is a good plan for year-round temperature control.
The seasonally shedding leaves will keep sun away in summer and let warmth shine through in winter, reducing the risk of running up large air conditioning or heater bills throughout the year.