The hot, summer season is upon us! A lot of us look forward to the warm weather but hate to see the substantial surges in our power bills. The good news is, there are lots of things that you can do to lower your electricity bills this summer. In this practical series, we’ll share a couple of tips and tricks that will help you reduce your energy consumption and slash the costs of your utility bill.
Commit to several lifestyle changes
Some of us will deny this, but we have wasted electricity once in our lives. Some people have habits that are wasteful. When not addressed properly, these habits jacks up our electricity bill. Do these things and you will cut the costs of running your home:
- Set the air conditioner to a minimum of 25° Celsius. You may not know it, but every degree lower than that can 10% more to your bills.
- Never leave windows and doors open when artificial cooling is running.
- Consider zone cooling. Never cool the parts of the house that you’re not always using (e.g. bedroom)
- Never place a refrigerator in a scorching hot garage and crank down the temperature control to the coolest.
- Run your ceiling fan as you use your air conditioner so cool air will spread faster.
- Switch off the aircon at night when everything outside has cooled down. Open windows to allow hot stale air to escape and the cool, fresh air to enter your home. Run the fans so air circulates faster.
- Use electric fans to cool yourself while sleeping. Fans are cheaper to run and can cool a room for up to 5° Celsius.
- Use fans instead of air conditioners when the day isn’t too hot. (Let’s say 25°-29° Celsius). Only run the aircon when the heat is unbearable already.
- Replace your old air conditioner with a more energy-efficient model. Old aircon are power-hungry. New ones consume considerably less energy. Look for five-star energy rated models for those are the most energy-efficient.
Change your home’s design
The design of your home can help you cool your home naturally during the summer. Here are the things that you can do:
- Have your home’s insulation checked, especially the ones in the ceiling and roof space. Fix insulation problems when you spot them.
- Don’t put reflective surfaces on your outdoor paths, balconies, and driveways. These reflect light in an angle that enters the window and heats your home.
- Check for leaks in your door and window frames. Cool air escapes your house through these gaps.
- Create a 450mm eaves to shade the northern part of your home. It’s enough to block the high-angle sun rays during midday.
- Shade your eastern and western windows properly. These windows, when not shaded properly, let hot summer rays in which results to unwanted heat gain. Use indoor or outdoor window shades. Cover your windows (in a stylish way) so light won’t strike it and heat won’t come inside the house.
Our most recommended window shading
For your eastern and western windows, use adjustable outdoor shading. We find louvre shading systems and awnings perfect for this. These can block the noontime sun during summer.
Since they are adjustable, you can rearrange them so they won’t block the winter sun next year.
But, that’s not all.
Your windows play a part in unwanted heat gain during summer. Both the sunlight and outdoor heat can pass through unprotected windows and increase the indoor temperature.
Understand that you need two kinds of shields. First, use well-functioning, all-season windows shades that will block sunlight. Second, invest in Low-E or double glazed windows that will keep outdoor heat out of the house.
Is your home ready for the upcoming summer season? Are you ready to cut the costs of running your home, even if it’s hot outside? Share your comments below.