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Energy efficient ways to keep your house cool in the Summer

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Airconditioning is generally our ‘go to’ when it comes to cooling our homes during summer but there are plenty of alternative ways to cool your home and use less energy at the same time.

Let’s start with a simple one to help keep the heat out

Closing blinds, vents, and using draught stoppers early in the morning can help to keep the sunlight and heat out. This will help make it easier to cool your house when you arrive home and make for more efficient use of your appliances.

Make the most of your ceiling and pedestal fans

A fan won’t make your house cold but they can provide comfort from the heat by providing a gentle breeze. They’re fairly cost efficient to run and you can switch them off and on when needed or when not using a particular room in the house.

Fans also work well in humid conditions where some other forms of cooling struggle such as evaporative.

Try this tip: when the temperature drops outside but your house it still hot, place your fan towards an open window to draw the hot air outside. Keep other windows open to let the cool air in.

Use evaporative coolers

Evaporative air coolers cool outdoor air with evaporated water. The cooler air is directed into the home and warmer air pushed out through windows. They work well in climates where the air is hot and humidity is low.

Consider installing a whirlybird roof vent

Whirly birds are those small cylinder domes that sit on your roof, spin in the wind and are designed to extract hot air from your roof cavity. They’re relatively cheap and easy to install but you’ll likely need 3-4 or more depending on the size of your home.

There’s plenty of debate out there on whether a whirly bird will help keep your roof space and home cooler so do your own research and weigh up the costs of having a couple of ‘birds’ installed.

Use landscape plants for shade and use cooling plants indoors

You may not have considered this, but well-designed landscaping can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak and may help keep your home cooler on warm days. Use native plants, trees and shrubs for screening and providing shade where needed. 

Shade sails can reduce heat from the sun and cut air conditioning costs and can be removed during winter to allow more warmth and light.

Use an energy efficient air conditioner

If air conditioning is a must in your household, look for the ENERGY RATING label that allows you to compare appliances before you buy. Options include split systems, central or ducted cooling. Consider having an installer recommend the right option and unit size best to suit your home. Here are some simple tips to help you keep aircon costs down, without having to give it up completely: 

  • Cleaning your air conditioner’s dust filters could mean improved energy efficiency and lower running costs.
  • Avoid aircon after dark. On cooler summer nights, use the timer to turn the unit off when you’re asleep. And for those hot nights, try to only cool the rooms that are occupied – some ducted cooling systems allow you choose which rooms you cool.
  • Go low and slow with your AC. Resist the temptation to turn your aircon on full blast. Cranking the AC won’t cool the room down any faster – it will simply waste electricity. Instead, set your air conditioner to around 25 to 27°C with a moderate fan speed.

A combination of proper insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, daylighting, shading, fans, and ventilation can often keep homes cool with a minimum of energy use.

If you’ve received a bill that’s higher than usual, our troubleshooting checklist can help you understand why your bill has changed.

Discover more general tips on how to save energy around the home

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