Staying cool during summer is a challenge for many Australians. As temperatures soar, homes can become hot and stuffy, causing occupants to reach for the air conditioning controls. As a result, many homeowners see a spike in their electricity bills. These handy tips can help to keep the home cool during summer without running up a huge bill.
Shut out Sunlight
Sunlight shining through a window and into the home can rapidly raise the air temperature inside. Shutters effectively shut out sunlight, keeping the interior of the home cooler; however, they also reduce air flow into the home. Slatted blinds are another option for reducing the amount of sunlight that enters a home, with the advantage that they allow air to circulate.
Insulation is not only useful for keeping heat inside the home in winter - it is also a good way of keeping summer heat outside. Homeowners who are struggling to stay cool should consider adding fibreglass roof insulation. The higher the R-value of the insulation, the more effective it is at keeping heat from entering the home. In the northern states of Australia, insulation with an R-value of at least 40 is recommended, whereas in the south an R-value of 30 can suffice.
Program the Thermostat
An HVAC system is an extremely useful tool for keeping a home cool, but it is important to use it efficiently. In households that have regular schedules, program the HVAC system so that it starts cooling the home shortly before the occupants are due to arrive home from work. An automatic thermostat program can also turn off the HVAC system when residents leave the home in the morning, therefore avoiding the unnecessary cost of cooling an empty house all day.
Repair or Replace the HVAC System
Clean, well-maintained HVAC systems run more efficiently than ones that are clogged with dirt or dust. Have the home air conditioning system serviced every year to make sure it is running as efficiently as possible. Very old HVAC systems are also not as efficient as newer models, so homeowners could save money and enjoy a cooler environment by replacing their old system with a modern alternative.
Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs produce a lot of heat. Households that are still using these traditional bulbs can save money and reduce the temperature of their homes by switching to low-energy alternatives. Bulbs that noticeably warm after a few hours of use should be replaced with compact fluorescent (CFL) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which produce only tiny amounts of heat.
Keeping the home cool in summer can be tricky, but these tips can help. By following the guidance given above, Australian households can keep their homes cool without resorting to running the air conditioning system 24 hours a day.