10 Ways To Save Energy (and $) This Summer
Solar power: If you have a solar system be mindful about how you use the energy generated during the day. For example, run your dishwasher after breakfast or lunch so that it will use electricity generated by the sun rather than running it at night when the sun is down which will draw energy from the grid. Staggering the use of appliances throughout the day is also recommended.
Shut the curtains! Covering your windows will cut down the heat transfer from outdoors. Yes, it can feel a little like a bat cave if you are home all day, but for households where people are out during the day, you will come home to a much cooler house.
Cook outdoors: Using the outdoor barbeque instead of the oven or stove in the kitchen can cut down the temperature generated in your house and decrease the need for air conditioning. Particularly for those Christmas roasts that can take a few hours to cook and those dinners on hot evenings it can pay to use the barbeque.
Watch the weather: Particularly in places like Port Lincoln, a cool change or sea breeze can arrive in the evening. Take advantage of this by turning off fans or air conditioning and open up the windows and doors to allow your house to cool naturally.
Get out there! Prepare a picnic dinner and get the family out of the house in the evening. This is a ‘win, win’ as it encourages physical activity, hobbies and bonding, along with all of those appliances (air con, TV, oven, stove etc) not being switched on at home.
Air conditioning: Have your air conditioner set at a constant, efficient temperature. Avoid cranking it up to cool down quickly as this is not energy efficient. You can check your particular air conditioning system details but 23-25 degrees Celsius is generally recommended.
Hot water: Hot water systems can be one of the highest energy users in households. Electric hot water systems can be switched to an off-peak tariff to reduce electricity costs, this means that water is only heated during the off-peak times, generally at night when energy prices are cheaper. Better still, if you have a solar system and an electric hot water system there are great little devices from Catch Power that can divert excess solar power to your hot water service during the day instead of back in to the grid. Once the system is heated your excess solar power continues to be fed back in to the grid.
Switch off! Turn off those appliances that aren’t being used at the time. Once a week, or every day if you can, do a walk through of your house and switch off lights and appliances that aren’t required.
Hang out: The washing that is…it can become a habit in the winter to be time efficient with washing and simply place wet washing in the clothes dryer. Using the sun to dry your clothes is energy efficient, antibacterial and free.
New products: LED lighting, timers, dimmers and new energy efficient appliances are all great ways to save energy. Installing these products can save energy and money over time. In some cases it is not viable to overhaul the entire household with energy efficient products all at once, however when something needs replacing you can make a positive choice.