Air conditioning accounts for 22 per cent of Australia’s electricity use. That’s equivalent to more than 8.5 million cars on the road.
So, with temperatures rising into the high 30s this week, keeping your cool over the next few days will also save money.
“Staying cool and taking control of your energy costs down can be done easily,” Sustainability Victoria’s CEO Stan Krpan said.
“Setting air conditioning to between 24 and 26 degrees is a good start.”
“Many simple things cost nothing, are low cost and can greatly improve comfort. Hundreds of dollars a year can be saved, particularly in older homes, which are known to be poor performers.”
“Draught proofing, shading windows and buying more efficient appliances are easily done while installing insulation and low-energy LED lights will cut gas and electricity use.”
Sustainability Victoria has a range of practical tips to help households stay cool including a handy video guide about how to draught proof your house.
Some energy efficiency products can be bought through Victorian Energy Upgrades and energy bills can be reduced by comparing providers at the free Victorian Energy Compare website.
Sustainability Victoria’s Smarter Choice guide has an appliance running--cost calculator and information on energy rating labels.
How to stay cool this summer
- Set air conditioner thermostats between 24 and 26 degrees. Each degree lower increases cooling costs by 10 per cent. Learn to use the air conditioner’s timer so it’s not running when it’s not needed.
- Ceiling and pedestal fans are cheap to run, and reduce the need for air conditioning.
- Draught-proof your home and keep hot air out and cool air in. Use a tube of sealant to fill gaps around windows, in and around floor and skirting boards. Inexpensive draught stoppers which screw on to the bottom of doors keeps cool air where it should be. Keep internal doors closed to minimise air movement.
- Unshaded north, east or west-facing windows lets heat in. Blinds and awnings, window film, pergolas and verandas help keep the house cool.
- Insulation has benefits all year and is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve household comfort and energy efficiency. Topping-up ceiling insulation, and installing it in walls during renovations, provides extra savings.
- Investing in solar panels and/or batteries? Get the best value from them by doing other inexpensive energy efficiency upgrades like the ones described above.
- Energy rating labels on appliances can help you invest in energy efficient models. You’ll be surprised that many highly-efficient appliances often don’t cost much more than those with lower ratings. Authorised installers can do a heat-load assessment for your home to determine what size air conditioner you need.
- Renting? talk to your landlord or agent about energy efficiency improvements you can do or which they might like to fund. You might be surprised. Point them to some of the programs that supports investing in energy efficiency and remind them that it can add value to the property or keep a happy tenant in place.