Managing electricity bills
10 simple tips to keep your home cool
To help you stay safe and save money this summer the Australian Energy Foundation have put together their top 10 tips for keeping your home cool:
1. Set Your Temperature Wisely
Set your thermostat to cool to 23-26 degrees in summer. In winter, only heat the house up to 18-20 degrees. Every degree lower or higher can add 10% to your running costs.
2. Use Fans
Sometimes, a fan is all you need for some welcome cooling air. Since fans cost only $5-$20 per season to run, using them as much as possible helps lower your energy bill.
3. Shade Outdoor Unit
Either have your outdoor air conditioner component installed in a shady place, or protect it from direct sunlight with an awning. This will help it run more efficiently and protect it from overheating. While you're at it, shade any west facing windows with external blinds or trees to prevent your home from heating up.
4. Maintain Regularly
Use the maintenance schedule contained in your air conditioner’s manual. This will head off many energy-sapping or expensive-to-fix issues before they even begin.
5. Clean the Filter
Clogged filters make your air conditioner work much harder to produce the same effect; for optimum energy use, clean or replace them every 1-2 months.
6. Only Heat or Cool Occupied Areas
If no one’s in a room, there’s little reason to heat or cool it it. Room sensors, smart controls, and timers for your aircon/heating can be used or get in the habit of turning it off when you leave.
7. Keep Doors & Windows Closed
Keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible. Using thick curtains in sun-exposed rooms is also a great way to keep temperatures lower.
8. Insulate Your House
A fully insulated home compared to a non-insulated home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling a home by around 40 to 50%.
9. Buy an Energy-Efficient Split-System Air Conditioner
If you have a ducted air conditioner system, you’re spending $100-$300 more — per season — than you need to. Energy-efficient split-system air conditioners are not only cheaper to buy and install, but also cheaper to run. If you're replacing an old heater in the process, you may be eligible for a $1000 rebate from the Victorian Government's Heating and Cooling Upgrades program for a new energy efficient split system.
10. Go Solar
This is the biggest investment, but also the biggest savings - by far. In fact, it’s not even close: solar systems save their owners 30-60% on their energy bills, and pay for themselves in 3-7 years. Check out our Solar Saver program to make the process easy.
For more tips on using less energy around your home and saving money on your electricity bills, including our guide for renters, go to www.darebin.vic.gov.au/savingenergyathome