As summer is fast approaching, now is the time to take a look at how you can save on your energy bills. With most of us relying on air conditioning to keep us cool during the hot summer months, it’s important to consider how, not only our home cooling appliances are affecting our overall energy bill, but also our lifestyle. Take a look at these 5 tips to help you save on your energy bills and a few extra things you can do around your home to help make a big impact.
Tip 1: Your lifestyle and how you use your energy
Each household is different and how you use your energy will also differ. The first place to start when it comes to making savings on your energy bill, is by understanding how you and your family currently use energy and taking a look at your lifestyle to see where you can make changes.
To understand your bill, its important to know that in most cases there are two ways in which you are billed; fixed and variable. The fixed portion of your bill is one you cannot directly influence, and this can make up about half of your bill. This portion covers costs such as network costs, maintenance, upgrades, etc. The portion you can control is the variable costs. This is the costs associated with your usage. This is when you need to take a look at your appliances, how and when you use those appliances and also your hot water.
Tip 2: Check your appliances
The first step in saving on your energy bill this summer is by taking a look at your current appliances. Start by looking at your big-ticket items such as your fridge, washing machine, dishwashers, television, gaming consoles, etc. Whilst it’s not always affordable to purchase new energy efficient appliances, ensuring your current appliances are not causing your energy bill to skyrocket is essential. Here are a few simple tips to manage your large appliances throughout summer.
- Ensure gaming consoles are unplugged or switched off at the power point when not in use. By switching off your gaming console after use, could save you up to $193 per year.
- Use dishwashers and washing machines in the evening, not only to help you save by using the appliance during off-peak times (after 10pm and before 7am), but also to ensure the appliance is only producing heat during cooler times of the day.
- Check your fridge seal. Use a piece of paper and stick in between your fridge door. Close the door and if the paper falls, then it is not sealing properly. Replacing your seal will help to ensure your fridge is not working overtime to keep the contents cool.
Tip 3: Cooling your home
After hot water, cooling and heating appliances are the next big energy users. The best way to ensure you can keep your home cool during summer when using cooling appliances, is to ensure they are set between 25-27 degrees. Every extra degree cooler can increase your homes energy usage by 5-10%, which ultimately means more cost to you.
So, how can you keep your cooling appliances between those temperatures and still cool your home? Start by ensuring you are only cooling spaces that you are utilising. Close off all other rooms, where possible, to cool the smallest space possible. Once the area is cool enough, turn off the air conditioner and use the ceiling fan to circulate that cool air for as long as possible.
Tip 4: Protect your windows and doors
Glass windows and doors act as large holes in the home. This means, up to 87% of heat gain can be caused by heat transfer through uncovered windows and doors. The best way to prevent heat from entering the home during summer and keep the cool air inside, is to cover your windows and doors with blinds or curtains.
Choosing a suitable window covering for your home is essential, if you want to make savings on your energy bills. Honeycomb Blinds are super insulating window coverings that create a barrier between inside and out, trapping air within its cells and preventing the transfer of warm and cool air. Honeycomb Blinds can help to save you up to 34% on your energy bills and ensure you are relying less on your cooling and heating appliances all year round.
Tip 5: Your energy provider
The last step is speaking with your energy provider. After considering your usage, your lifestyle and your appliances, you now have the knowledge to speak with your current provider about how you can make savings on your energy bill. It also pays to shop around. Use comparison websites to see where you can make savings by switching to a different provider, but always consult your current provider first as they may be able to offer you a better deal and save you the hassle of switching.
Here are a few extra tips which are easy to implement into any home and help you save on your energy bills.
- Use the washing line to dry your clothes, not the dryer, it’s free.
- Clean ceiling fans to ensure they are dust free and able to perform at their maximum potential.
- Turn appliances off at the wall when not in use. Appliances on standby can account for up to 10% of your energy usage. For example, phone chargers, microwaves, clocks and any appliances that have a little light on.
- During summer, keep the blinds and curtain closed during the hottest part of the day to prevent heat from entering the home. Once the temperature cools down, open them back up again, along with your windows, to allow the cool air to flow through the home.
- Keep the hot air outside for as long as possible by cooking on the BBQ, keep lids on pots, avoid using the oven and only filling up the kettle with as much water as you need.
- Hot water is one of the biggest contributors towards your energy usage. Try washing your clothes in cold water and only wash when you have a full load. Ensure the dishwasher is only run when it is full and scrape plates clean instead of rinsing them with hot water. Showers are also a big contributor, so take shorter showers and ensure your showerhead is a low-flow showerhead.