There’s no denying that the weather over recent years has been far less predictable than what it used to be, when compared to the events from ten or twenty years ago. The winters have been that little bit wilder, and often start a little bit later in the year. Equally so, our Summers also seem to also be delayed in their starts and significantly hotter especially in later months, sometimes with hot days extending well past the traditional summer months and with the odd day in May still fetching over 30 degrees!
With such unpredictability in the weather, most of us have sufficient cooling to bring down the temperature of our house through the use of our air conditioning. But like with most things the old wall mounted air conditioner mounted in your wall from the 1990’s or earlier, it might do the job of cooling things down, but at what cost? Power bills across Australia have been on a steady incline for the last 20 years, which is what has led many of us to be mindful of how soon we turn on the A/C.
There are numerous ways to keep these energy costs down, without having to forgo a cool house on a stinking hot day. Most of these come down to efficiency.
Install Energy Efficient Air Conditioning
Just like with a car made these days when compared to those 40 years ago. Sure, they both will do the job of getting you from point “A” to point “B” but the amount of energy in terms of fuel needed is significantly less in a modern car. It’s also substantially safer to travel in. The exact same thing can be said for modern air conditioners. The output, noise, and ability to cool down the room will be incredibly better on a modern A/C device. So, if your machine is older, investing in a new machine, despite the immediate outlay will most likely save you money.
Another thing to be mindful of is when your air conditioner was last cleaned and serviced. You get your car serviced regularly, so why not your A/C? Air conditioning maintenance involves your filters and vents regularly cleaned will ensure your system runs optimally and also that the vented air doesn’t contain unwanted contaminates.
Turn up the thermostat a couple of degrees
If your machine is not that old and is running well, a few simple changes such as raising the desired room temperature by a few degrees can have significant impact. Most A/C’s work hard until they hit your desired set temperature. There are also smart devices which can be used to monitor the energy output of your household devices, which are often distributed via government incentives. When using one of these you will be able to get a good idea of the difference that a couple of degrees can make.
Double glaze your windows
Keeping your house well insulated will also relieve some of the energy your aircon uses to cool your rooms. This insulation can be installed in your roof, your walls, around your doors, or you could even look to upgrade your windows to double glazing. These will also help reduce noise, such as traffic from nearby busy roads, or barking dogs.
Invest in an energy monitoring tool and smart switches
If you are considering upgrading your house, there are numerous smart devices on the market, which can be applied to a number of household items, such as lamps, fans, air conditioning, door locks and even garden hoses, just to name but a few. Many of these will retro fit to existing devices, and through their apps can give you accurate data on how much energy each one uses.
Convert your lights to LED
There are some other more substantial upgrades you could do to your house, which, while they might cost more upfront, can be quite worthwhile as a long-term investment. One of the easiest things to do is upgrading your household lighting to LED. There are now so many types of led lights on the market which on average use 3-8w. When compared to the traditional 60w globe this is a huge drop in power consumption. On top of that most LED globes have an expected life span of 50,000 hours, as opposed to 1-2 thousand of old incandescent lighting.
Upgrade any old appliances
Apart from your Air conditioning and lighting, the appliances which use the most energy around the house often include your Fridge, Clothes Dryer, and Hot water system (if you happen to have an electric system or a heated swimming pool). Ensuring these items are not overly outdated can save you a tonne of money.
By adding or performing any of the tasks above, you should be able to significantly reduce your power bills.