With energy costs on the rise now is the time to look at ways to reduce your energy consumption without breaking a sweat this summer.
According to the NSW Department of Planning and Energy, around 1/4 of household energy consumption is used for heating and cooling. http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/energy-consumers/save-energy-and-reduce-your-bills/reducing-energy-costs
That’s a substantial chunk of money being used to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter and there are big savings to be had by implementing these simple tips to reduce your energy consumption without compromising your comfort year round.
- Regular maintenance
Just like your car, your air conditioner will run better if it is well looked after. Most major manufacturers recommend an annual service for home air conditioners and six monthly service for commercial air cons (more if it is a gym, dentist or doctor). As part of this service the technician will check and clean the filters, test the gas pressures and run though a long list of tests to ensure that your system is running efficiently.
Be smart and book your annual service in Autumn or Spring which are traditionally quieter periods.
- Close the window coverings during the heat of the day
The Australian sun is HOT! If you can reducing the amount of direct sunlight coming in through windows and doors, you can significantly reduce the heat load your air conditioner has to work against. Closing the blinds, curtains or shutters on your north, east and west facing windows & doors will help keep the house cool at different times of the day.
- Install roof ventilation
Air vents in your roof will siphon off hot air from the space above the ceiling and reduce the heat load during summer. This can improve energy efficiency of your air conditioner but up to 10%.
- Keep heat producing appliances away from the thermostat
Having heat producing household appliances near or under your thermostat can trick it into believing the house needs more cooling than it should. One of the biggest culprits is the large screen tv but lighting and other household appliances can have a similar effect.
- Adjust your temperature setting by a few degrees
The NSW Department of Planning and Energy recommends that you set the temperature at between 23-26 degrees Celsius. Below 23 degrees and your air conditioner has to work really hard to cool the space, reducing the efficiency of the system and driving energy usage way up.
- Install smart home technology
Most new and many older air conditioning systems can be easily fitted with the new smart home technology which allows you to control your air conditioner from an app on your smart phone. The great part about this is that you can switch your air con on and off from the office, car or the comfort of your lounge. You can also use this technology to adjust the temperature within your house during the day. When you are not home you can keep the temperature a little higher then drop it down in time for your arrival home at night. Alpha & Omega Air recommend the iZone system for ducted air conditioners and the Daikin Skifi system for split air conditioners.
- Stay cool and dry
Taking the moisture out of the air can drop the air temperature a couple of degrees and make the life much more comfortable and less sticky at the same time. Most air conditioners have a dehumidifier or dry function which uses less energy while still giving a level of comfort on those high humidity days.
- Keep your ductwork in good condition
Ducted air conditioning units transport air along ducts hidden in either the roof cavity or under the floor. Sometimes these get damaged when there is renovation work underway or if you have had possums or rats in the roof. If the ductwork gets damaged then your cool air is leaking out into the roof instead of being pushed into your house. Replacement ductwork is relatively cheap and easy to install and well worth the expense for a cooler house.