Did you know that freshening up your home in summer can help you save energy? Read on to get our top tips for surviving this hot weather.
Service your air conditioner
Your air conditioner can chew through a big chunk of your monthly budget. But the good news is that saving money on your cooling bill is easy with a little preventive maintenance and foresight. For example:
- Change your air conditioner filter to increase air circulation.
- Consider replacing an old air conditioner unit with a newer, more energy-efficient air conditioner.
- Don't forget to turn up the temperature setting at night and when you're away. By some estimates, you could save as much as 15 per cent on your energy bill by raising the setting for the times you need less cooling.
Clean your solar panels
Like windows, solar panels can collect a layer of dirt and grime that makes it harder for the sun's rays to penetrate. To make sure your solar panels are generating the maximum amount of electricity for your home, be sure to get them cleaned regularly or take advantage of nano-cleaning technology that uses rain to help keep your panels spotless.
Locate and seal air leaks
Even though you can't see them, air leaks in your home can eat a big hole out of your wallet. While the tricky part can be locating the draughts, a simple tip to finding them is burning a stick of incense near the main problem areas such as doors, windows and fixed vents and seeing where the smoke drifts.
Clean dryer ducts
While you probably remember to clean the lint from your dryer after each cycle, when was the last time you cleaned the ducts? Like the lint trap, dryer ducts are prone to accumulating layers of gunk that can reduce air flow and push up your energy bill. While cleaning ducts isn’t complicated, it’s important to take precautions, such as unplugging your dryer, before you start and consulting your dryer's manual. If in doubt, hire a professional.
Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs
With lighting costs accounting for up to one-third of the average electricity bill, investing in energy-efficient lighting is one of the easiest and smartest ways to save money this summer.
You can choose from:
- CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps): relatively cheap and last for up to 8000 hours.
- LEDs (light emitting diodes): more expensive than CFLs, but last up to 10 times longer.
- Halogen lamps: less efficient than CFLs or LEDs, but superior to incandescent bulbs.
And remember, keeping your appliances well-maintained can help save on your energy costs, so can making sure you're on the right electricity and gas plan.