How to Save on Winter and Summer Power Bills
Practical ways to cut down your electricity costs
Heating and cooling costs account for around 40% of the total energy consumption of an average Australian household. That’s nearly half of the power bill that can yield savings.
When the seasons change, energy consumption changes too. So naturally, there is a higher demand for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. But, whether it's a scorching January or a chilly July in New South Wales, there are many ways to save on summer and winter energy bills.
Save money on electricity bills next summer
The air conditioner, fridge, fans, and freezers are hard at work during hot days. So, how to stay cool during summer without running the meter? Let’s find out…
Go slow with your AC
Turning the air conditioner to full blast will not cool the room faster – it will only waste electricity. It is best to set the thermostat to around 23°C to 26°C and let the fan run at moderate speed.
Turn off the air conditioner at night
Take advantage of the slightly cooler air during summer nights. Turn off the AC and open the windows after dark to let the evening breeze flow through the house. During pretty hot nights, try only to cool rooms that are occupied.
Clean the air conditioner
Dirty dust filters can force the air conditioner to work harder and, therefore, consume more energy. Cleaning the vents and filters regularly can help improve performance and efficiency. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to maintain the HVAC system, or have a reliable air conditioning specialist do the job for you.
Wash with cold water
Running a cold-water cycle in the dishwasher or washing machine can save around $115 per year.
Do the laundry when the sun shines
Maximise solar power by drying clothes out in the sun instead of the clothes dryer. This will not only significantly reduce the power bill but also disinfect the laundry with bacteria-killing sunshine.
Maintain fridge temperature
Set the thermostat of the refrigerator to 3°C to 5°C and the freezer to -15°C.
Electronic appliances consume electricity even when they are on standby. To totally cut the power off, unplug non-essential appliances and gadgets at the wall outlet, such as the TV, consoles, DVRs, laptops and microwaves.
Blockout natural light
One of the best ways to reduce energy costs is to stop the sun’s rays from entering the home. Pull the curtains and close the blinds to keep the interior cool during a hot Aussie summer. Drapes, shutters, and awnings also provide good shading against hot air and sunlight. For sun-facing windows, tinted glass and backings for blinds and curtains can help deflect the outdoor heat so that the air conditioner doesn’t have to run at full capacity.
Bring out the barbecue
On warm days, why not fire up the outdoor grill and prepare dinner outside? Stoves and ovens can quickly heat up the living space, forcing the aircon to work harder. Alfresco dining is one way to keep energy consumption down while enjoying the outdoors in the summertime.
Fill the refrigerator up
An empty fridge consumes more electricity, so make an effort to fill the space while waiting for the next trip to the supermarket. One way to do this is to store water bottles – not only do they occupy space, but there will always be a chilled bottle of water to go!
While curtains and blinds block sunlight inside, outdoor foliage can also help throw shade and reduce cooling costs. Trees, vines, and shrubs can add another layer of defence against the scorching sun during hot months.
Save money on electricity bills next winter
Cold, dark days keep people inside the house – which means more lights, heaters, TVs, and computers are running simultaneously. Here are a few tips to keep electricity and gas costs down during winter.
Make every degree count
Buy the most energy-efficient heater that fits your budget and only heat the rooms that are occupied. Set the thermostat between 18°C to 21°C – every degree outside this range can add up to 10% to heating charges.
Instead of turning the heat on, a cheaper option to stay warm is to put on more clothes. Start with a thermal undergarment and then build up to four layers. If the temperature continues to drop, throw on a jumper or grab a few blankets.
Harness the winter sun
Winter days are not always cloudy. When the sun is up, open the curtains and turn off the lights to let the warm sunshine in. Close the blinds as soon as the sun sets to trap the hot air inside.
Save money while sleeping
Instead of plugging the electric blanket on cold nights, try placing a hot water bottle under the sheets or spread a winter doona on top of the bed for a cheaper alternative.
Run the ceiling fan in reverse mode
Many ceiling fans are equipped with a summer/winter switch. When in winter mode, the blades of the fan spin in reverse to push the warm air from the ceiling into the room.
According to Energy Rating, the average top loader costs $140 more per year to wash in warm water. These can translate to savings by washing full loads of laundry in cold water.
Keep those hot showers to a limit
Hot water accounts for around 25% of energy consumption during winter and Around 22% of household water use is in the shower. So, reducing your shower time by 2 minutes will save lots of water. Better still, keep your showers under 4 minutes! Saving the hot water for essential use can definitely help reduce energy costs.
Keep the draft out
Up to 25% of winter heat loss can be attributed to drafts. A simple draft strip or draft excluder placed around doors and windows can keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
Avoid the oven
Slow cookers and pressure cookers are more energy-efficient compared to the oven, so they are more practical for making warm winter dishes. If there is a need to cook in the oven, make them in batches to save energy. Also, leave the door open after cooking to allow the remaining warm air to heat the kitchen.
Call in the professionals for all your Newcastle electrical needs
When was the last time you had your electricals checked? The changing of the seasons is the best time to get all your household issues fixed by a professional from Real Electrical Solutions. Our electricians will help ensure that your heating and cooling systems are running smoothly to help you cut back on energy costs.
Call us today on 0403 306 842 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries.