Saving Energy In All Seasons

Winter might be over but summer is just around the corner and whether you’re furiously heating a house to keep warm or cooling it to keep cool, both seasons demand their fair share of energy usage. The good news is that there are plenty of practical ways in which to cut consumption or improve efficiency in winter and summer.
When it’s cold outside it’s tempting to jack up the heating but setting the thermostat to between 18oC and 20oC will save a lot of energy and will still keep the house warm. When you consider that for every 1oC you raise the thermostat your energy usage increases by 10%, it might make you want to throw on an extra jumper rather than up the heating!
You don’t want all that lovely warm air to escape through cracks around windows, doors and electrical outlets so use a sealant to fill any leaks and place draught excluders at the base of your doors – it could save you up to 20% on your energy bills. Be sure also to keep interior doors shut to rooms you’re heating so that you don’t end up heating parts of the house which aren’t in use.
Improving your home’s insulation will help to cut down your energy consumption massively. Heat rises so installing adequate loft insulation will ensure that your heating doesn’t escape through the roof. Wall insulation – whether cavity or solid, depending on the type of walls you have – will prevent heat naturally flowing into colder spaces such as outside and unheated adjoining areas such as a garage. An easy way to help to insulate your floor – and keep your toes warm – is to simply throw down a thick rug. Ask an energy provider such as AGL Energy to help you to perform an energy saving assessment on your home.
With the air conditioner blasting cool air around your home all day, energy consumption (and bills) can be massive over the summer. Just as in the winter, the key is to insulate. Check that your walls and roof are adequately insulated and fill any leaks around doors and windows with sealant. You wouldn’t leave your refrigerator door open to cool down your entire house so make sure there aren’t any leaks and that all doors and windows are firmly shut when you switch on your air conditioning so that you don’t cool down the rest of the neighbourhood.
Efficiency is also vital, helping your cooling device to work effectively using the least amount of energy possible. With that in mind, be sure to regularly clean the filters on your air conditioning vents – once a month is ideal. Of course, air conditioning units aren’t the only way to cool your home down. If you don’t already have them, consider installing a few ceiling fans as they use far less energy than air conditioners. Try cooling the air with your air conditioner initially and then switching the ceiling fan on to circulate that cool air around the room. If you really need to leave your air conditioner on, switching on a fan as well will allow you to set the thermostat up to 4oC higher.
Emily Buckley is a journalist and copywriter with a deep interest in energy efficiency methods and energy efficient technology. She writes articles for AGL energy with tips on how to live a greener life.