Energy Coach - February
We're into the third month of summer, and it's hot! Here's how to keep your cool while staying efficient.
Home energy efficiency is a critical topic for households in Australia, trying to save energy and save money through the heat of February.
Understanding February's Energy Demands in Australia
February in Australia is hot. Air conditioners work overtime, refrigerators are under more stress, and more people are staying indoors, leading to increased energy usage. This surge in energy demand can lead to higher electricity bills and a larger carbon footprint.
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Optimise Air Conditioning
If you're lucky enough to have air conditioning, use it wisely to maximise the lifespan of this appliance, and get the best value from using it.
- Set the Right Temperature: Keep your air conditioner thermostat at around 24-25 degrees Celsius. Each degree lower can increase your energy usage by up to 10%.
- Regular Maintenance: Clean filters and ensure your air conditioning unit is serviced regularly for efficient operation. It will work better and last longer.
- Use Timers: Utilize timers to turn off the air conditioner when not needed.
- Try Supercooling: It's not suitable for everyone, but if your home is thermally efficient, if you live in a hotter and dryer part of Australia, and if you're on a time-of-use tariff, then give it a try.
Maximise Natural Cooling
Whether you have air-conditioning or not, you can maximise comfort and minimise costs by focusing on natural ventilation and cooling for your home.
- Cross Ventilation: Open windows in the early morning and late evening to allow cooler air to circulate.
- Shade and Insulation: Use blinds or curtains during the hottest part of the day. Consider installing insulation to keep your home cooler.
Efficient Appliance Use
- Fridge Efficiency: Keep your refrigerator and freezer well-stocked as a full fridge maintains its temperature more efficiently.
- Turn Off Standby Appliances: Devices like TVs, computers, and microwaves still consume energy in standby mode. Switch them off at the powerpoint.
Invest in Renewable Energy
- Solar Panels: Consider installing solar panels. February’s ample sunlight can be an excellent source of energy, potentially reducing your reliance on the grid.
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- Shorter Showers: Reduce shower time to save on both water and the energy used to heat it.
- Cold Washes for Laundry: Use cold water for laundry; it requires less energy than hot or warm washes.
Energy-Efficient Home Design
- Landscaping for Shade: Plant trees or shrubs to provide natural shade and cool your home.
- Thermal Mass Materials: Incorporate materials like concrete or brick in your home design that absorb heat during the day and release it at night.
Long-Term Strategies for Energy Efficiency
1. Home Automation
- Invest in smart home systems that can automate lighting, heating, and cooling based on occupancy and preferences.
Conduct an energy audit to identify areas where you can improve efficiency.
Incorporating energy efficiency tips into your daily routine can significantly reduce your energy consumption and costs, especially during the high-demand month of February.
Each small change contributes to a larger impact on both your wallet and the environment. Stay cool and efficient this February!
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