What’s the best way to keep your home cool and energy bills low?

6 tips for surviving Queensland’s hot and humid summers

With energy bills continuing to climb, and summer not getting any cooler, many people in South East Queensland are looking for ways to keep their homes cool – without blowing the budget.

As temperatures climb into the mid to high 30s – and the apparent temperature soars beyond even this level – your home’s air conditioner is sure to get a workout.

But of course, comfort does come with a price. And with energy costs showing no signs of abating, it’s important to find the best ways to cool your home without just running your air con 24 hours a day.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can stay cool this summer while still saving energy and money.

1) Don’t set your air conditioner too cool

Here’s a fact you probably know but might forget: the harder your air con has to work, the more electricity it will use.

The good news is that you don’t need a freezing Antarctic wind to keep your home more comfortable in summer!

Set your air con to a consistent 24 degrees Celsius and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a cooler room while not costing yourself an arm and a leg in electricity costs.

You’ll even find that this more reasonable temperature means it’s less of a shock when you have to move from your comfortable living room out into the yard to hang out the washing or check the mailbox!

Remember, every degree lower than 24 on your air con can increase your bill by as much as 15%.

2) Don’t let cool air escape – close your home’s cracks and gaps

You might remember this from visiting your grandparents back in the 70s or 80s – that long, stuffed fabric tube called a door snake that seemed to be a constant feature of Queensland homes.

Well, it turns out that grandma and grandad knew what they were doing all along! Draught proofing your home can give you very good bang for your bucks.

The conditioned air that you’ve already paid for can leak out from under and around your home’s doors, windows, ceilings, and even skirting boards. Yet draught proofing is relatively cheap and easy to do in most homes.

You could save up to 25% on every energy bill simply by reducing the amount of air that leaks out from gaps and cracks. Thank you, door snake!

3) Think about installing home insulation

Having roof insulation installed will work to reduce heat flow and lower your home’s internal temperature. It’s more of a long-term investment, but it’s definitely worthwhile – the right ceiling insulation can save you up to 20% on cooling and heating costs.

If you already have ceiling insulation but your bills are still too high, it could be a sign that it’s no longer working effectively Check whether:

  • Your home gets excessively hot in summer
  • It’s difficult to maintain a consistent temperature in your home
  • You feel draughts around the house, or
  • There are pests or mould in the ceiling.

If you do need to install or replace your roof insulation, ask your installer about whether you need bulk insulation or reflective foil insulation. Plus, check out the material’s “R value”, which is a measure of its resistance to heat flow.

4) Don’t forget to use your humble ceiling fan

It’s not just air conditioning that can help keep you cool in the Queensland summer. While a ceiling fan might not cool the air or reduce humidity in your home, it does move air around the room to help you and your family feel cooler.

You can also use a ceiling fan in tandem with an air con, to move the conditioned air around and use your air con at a lower setting. That way, a fan can improve your home’s comfort level by about three degrees – and for just 2 cents an hour.

And of course, while fans cool people, they don’t cool rooms. So remind the kids to turn them off when no-one’s in the room!

5) Shut up your home in the hottest part of the day

Though it’s tempting to open up your home on a hot day for some ventilation, in fact all you’re doing is letting the humidity and heat into your house.

Instead, trying opening up the windows at night to let the cooler air in, and closing them first thing in the morning to keep this cool air inside your home.

Try using curtains, adjustable awnings or blinds, and shade sails to keep the sun from hitting your home’s windows and heating them up. That’s especially the case for the west-facing side of your home, where the afternoon sun can play havoc with temperatures.

6) Use plants for shade and screening

Along with man-made screening options comes Mother Nature’s solution – cool, shady plants against windows and walls to block heat and save you money.

For this purpose, you can try small trees, deciduous shrubs, or even climbing plants outside your house. Take care to position your green screen where it will block the worst of the sun from hitting windows and external walls, and heating them up.

Amazingly, studies show that this tip can offer you energy savings of up to 50 %! So get out your green thumb and give your air con a break!

Contact Jaric Air Conditioning for expert advice on your home air con

The expert team at Jaric can offer you the advice you need for your air conditioning.

To find out more, call Jaric Electrical & Air Conditioning on 1300 452 742 or contact us online.