Stay cool and save this summer

Summer cooling pool

With summer here it’s the perfect time to take some simple steps to ensure you can stay cool and manage the impact on your electricity bills at the same time.

Ausgrid energy efficiency expert Dr Robert Simpson said there are some simple things we can all do to keep our homes cool without breaking the bank.

“Summer electricity bills can be higher than other times of the year due to increased usage of air conditioners and with the kids out of school and families at home,” Dr Simpson said.

“You can use natural breezes to stay cool by opening doors and windows on opposite sides of your home to take advantage of cross ventilation,” he said.

 

Tips to keep your home cool naturally:

  • Keep the heat off. The north and west facing areas receive the most summer heat. Keep it out by using vertical shades like adjustable louvres for east and west windows and horizontal shading like awnings for northern windows. If you can’t cover your windows from the outside, use curtains or blinds indoors and choose lighter colours so they reflect the heat. 
  • Let the hot air out. Spinning roof vents help reduce the temperature in the roof cavity. If you have a two-storey house encourage hot air to flow out of the upper level while letting in the cooler evening breeze. Use nature’s air conditioning. Leave doors and windows on opposite sides of your home open to take advantage of cross ventilation.
  • Use fans where you can. If you use air conditioning, set it between 23 and 26 degrees.


 

Another way to save is to use a fan for cooling. A ceiling fan costs about two cents an hour to run, or about $6 over summer. Air conditioning the same space can cost between 30 and 40 cents an hour and add $100-150 to your bill.

“On very hot days when you have to use the air conditioner you can still save by making sure you set the right temperature. The optimum range is between 23 to 26 degrees. Each extra degree of cooling can add up to 10% to your running costs.

“If you are using air conditioning remember to close doors and windows so you can keep the cool air in,” Dr Simpson said.

Outside the home, pools can provide welcome relief from the summer heat but can also add hundreds of dollars to your energy bills.

Installing an energy efficient pool pump or reducing your pool pump running times by an hour per day can save you over $100 per year. 

Check with your retailer about moving to a time of use tariff. Running your pool pump in off-peak or shoulder periods rather than peak times can cut running costs in half.