You don’t need to be at a summer BBQ with friends for long to hear one or more people talking about how high their energy bills are, or perhaps how much they wish they had solar to help offset the costs. Energy prices have more than doubled since 2015, which is astounding considering nothing has changed in terms of the product your home is receiving. You are not driving a fancier version of electricity, with leather seats and satellite navigation. No, you are still consuming electricity, its still doing the same thing, providing light to your home and charge to your phones, it just costs twice as much.
Meanwhile, wage growth in Australia averaged 3.25 per cent from 1998 until 2018, leaving many families with mortgage stress, high debt levels are more importantly unable to tune out and enjoy time over the holidays and summer with their friends and loved ones.
As we live in an increasingly, digitised world, from our need to have a full phone charge, through to the multiple TV’s, streaming devices, lights, air conditioners you name it. However, there is hope! Not only are there more and more energy efficient appliances that can help your daily life, but there are some simply tips and techniques that more often than not are overlooked in our ever-busy lifestyles.
Tips to get your bills down
Firstly, your hot water system is one of the biggest issues when it comes to power bills, especially the older systems that simply kick on to keep your water ready for use. If you can’t afford – or your landlord won’t – install an instant hot water system, then call an electrician about putting a timer on the system or in the power point that allows for you to control when the system turns on and off. Sure, you may have a cold shower once in a while, but it is worth it when you look at the money you save.
Windows are one of the biggest sources of letting heat in, and out of your home. During winter all your warmth is sucked our, while during summer the sun and heat drive into your living room, driving up your cooling costs. Its fairly simple really, shut the blinds, especially those that are sun facing, then let natural light in from one or more places for you to enjoy the day.
Do you really need all those appliances on? Do you really need your phone, iPad, computer, TV’s, speakers etc. all plugged into the wall and ready for action? Simple answer? No. Turn your appliances off at the wall, remove the temptation to always have 100% charge all the time and go outside and talk to people. Less screen time equals more real time, with real people. Not only that but it will effectively cut your bill down, as your devices are not constantly on standby.
Get to know your air-conditioner
Ok, so now we come to the infamous air-conditioner, the drain on many a power bill over summer. The one appliance that many – especially millennials – could not live without (how did they ever get by when they didn’t have it).
Have you ever spent the time looking at your air conditioner? Have you ever notice that many air-conditioners – even the old ones – have a range of functions?
Sleep mode & timers
The first key tip is, sure you may need the air conditioner on to help you get to sleep in comfort, but once you are away, many air conditioners have timers and sleep functions that either turn the system off or down after an hour or so.
This will allow you to save money just floating off in the breeze as you sleep, while also maximising your ‘air con time’ to the heat of the day when it really needs it.
Run your system during the day – off at night
This is a key cost-saving measure, remembering that if you use your air-conditioned when you are home during the day, you are battling the heat of the day, but at night when it cools off, your house is already cool, so why not turn the air conditioner off or down – this will really cut costs down for you.
Explore climate control
Having your system running between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius is the ideal temperature to have your air conditioning system running for during summer to maximise its operating efficiency and getting the bills down.
There is little benefit to blasting your house to 16 degrees and having everyone walking around in jumpers, 22-24 is very comfortable when it may be 10+ degrees hotter outside, plus near all machines on the market have been designed to operate most efficiently at that temperature – so lock it in.
Invest in a smart system air conditioner
If you don’t have an air conditioning unit and are considering installing one, think about looking at a SMART system, that may cost slightly more to install, but in the lifetime of the product – especially over summer – they will work actively to reduce the bills. Smart systems are designed to change as people’s body heat enters the room and changes the temperature up or down.
These systems allow for your ultimate comfort, as well as adjusting to maximum operating efficiencies once you leave the room. These systems are serious cost savers.
Arrange regular cleans and services
Having your system’s maintenance up to date and the system regularly serviced will provide significant cost savings to your home. You may think your home is spotless, but have you taken a look in your air conditioners filter lately? They are often filled with dust and fibres, which force your system to work harder, using more energy in the process.
A final word
There are many benefits of having an air-conditioner in your home, no more sleepless nights, kids are happy out of the heat of the day and most importantly you can have wonderful memories of a great summertime in Australia.
In order to maximise your air conditioners effectiveness in cooling and efficiency when it comes to bill time, take these few simple steps to success and enjoy all the season has.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how to lower your summer cooling costs speak with an air conditioning expert from Rite Price Heating and Cooling today.