When the summer heat rolls around, it doesn’t take long for your house to feel like an oven. While it’s easy to just blast the AC to cool, it’s also an easy way to energy bill shock.
You can save money on your energy bill by trying these easy tips to keep your home cool before you turn the air conditioner on.
1. Keep the Curtains Shut
Your home’s windows are one of the greatest sources of heat gain. Up to 76 per cent of the sunlight that touches them, passes through to your home as heat.
The easiest way to reduce this is to simply keep your curtains and blinds shut when the sun is directly facing them. This is especially important for east- and south-facing windows where the sun is most intense.
Bonus points if your curtains are insulated! Insulated, or thermal curtains have layers of acrylic foam between the curtain material that reduces heat transfer significantly more than regular curtains.
2. Upgrade Your Lighting
If you’re still using old incandescent or halogen globes in your home, it’s time to make the swap to LEDs or CFLs. These older light types use heat to generate light, but approximately 90% of this energy is wasted just creating heat.
The more energy something uses, generally the more heat it releases. CFLs and LEDs are significantly more energy-efficient than other light types. This means upgrading your lighting can help to keep your home cool.
Not only will this help to keep your room cool without an AC, but it will also cut down your energy usage, further helping you to save on your energy bills!
3. Ditch Hot Meals
There’s a reason we lean towards hot meals in the cold months – it warms us up! So it’s a no-brainer to ditch the hot meals when the hot weather comes around.
Opt for a fresh salad or a no-cook sandwich instead. Pull out the ice cream and ice blocks for dessert and you’ll be feeling cooler in no time, no air conditioner needed.
4. Cook Outside
If you simply can’t go without a hot meal, try cooking outside if you can. Turning on your oven and stovetop will only heat your home more.
This goes for any electrical appliance too. Minimising your screen time, use of the clothes dryer, dishwasher and other appliances that are on for longer amounts of time will help to keep your house cool.
5. Open Windows and Doors at Night
When the sun has gone down for the day, the temperature outside can drop significantly. This is the perfect time to open doors and windows in your home and let that cool air naturally cool down your home.
You can strategically set up a fan to create a cross-breeze in a room to cool a room down ever faster. Just open both windows and direct the fan to blow air out of one. Cool air will enter through the other window to replace the air your fan blows out. If you’ve only got one window in a room, you can do the same thing by opening a door instead and facing the fan outside the room.
6. Fake it With a Fan
While it won’t actually change the temperature of a room, ceiling fans can be a great way to make it feel cooler. When spinning counter-clockwise, the angle of the fan blades pull warm air up and push the cool air down, effectively cooling a room without changing the temperature.
The wind-chill effect of the air moving will also help to cool you down by speeding up your body’s natural cooling process -evaporation of sweat.
Don’t have a ceiling fan? Grab out the old pedestal fan and put a bowl of ice in front of it. The air will cool down before it reaches you, leaving you nice and cool.
7. Sleep Down Low
We all know that heat rises, so if it’s still hot at night, it makes sense to sleep down low! Drag your mattress off your bed or pull out your trusty air mattress and get those Z’s where it’s cooler.
This also means that if your bedroom is upstairs, you might want to make the move downstairs. It’ll be much cooler down there.
8. Swap Out Your Sheets
Are you still sleeping with those thick sheets you put on in winter? Now’s the time to swap those out for something thin and airy.
Look for cotton sheets with a lower thread count, linen or bamboo options. These materials are more breathable than the flannelette options we use in winter.
Lighter coloured bedding is your best bet too. If your curtains are open and sunlight lands on your bedding, dark colours absorb more heat than light colours. They can retain this heat for a while too, so when you hop into bed at night they might still be warm.
9. Take Cool Showers
One of the best ways to lower your body temperature is by taking a lukewarm or cool shower. If you can’t stand a cold shower, make sure to use your bathroom exhaust fan to draw out the hot air from your shower.
Can’t Go Without Air Conditioning?
Sometimes it’s just too hot to go without air conditioning. You’ve got the blinds closed, ice water in front of a fan and you’ve stripped down to all but the essentials.
You can still use your air conditioner without your electric bill skyrocketing though. Experts from Jim’s Air Conditioning have a few tips you can try to maximise your air con’s cooling:
- Don’t set the temperature lower than 24°C.
- Clean the air filters.
- Shut doors to rooms you’re not in.
- Use a high fan speed.
- Regularly service your air conditioner.
Combined all together, these are the best ways to cool your home with and without an AC.
Ref number: THSI-2399