How to keep your home cool on a budget this summer

January 13, 2021

Summer is well and truly here, and despite the rain in some locations, we’ve already seen the mercury rise a number of times throughout the country. 

While it’s nice to sit back and blast the aircon on warmer days, this can come back to bite you when your next energy bill arrives.  

Finder research shows that Aussies are set to spend a collective $1.9 billion on cooling costs this summer, with 63% of us switching the aircon on during this time. Around 10% of us even leave the aircon running while we aren’t at home, with this wastage setting us back a collective $22 million. 

If you want to keep cool during the warmer months but don’t want to end up hot and bothered at bill time, below are a few simple ways you can cool your home on a budget. 

Pre-cool your home where possible

If you know you’re in for a scorcher, pre-cool your house the night before by leaving windows and shutters open. If your house has insulation, the cooler air will be retained the following day. Just make sure to shut any windows or doors the following morning to keep the cool air in. 

Keep blinds and curtains closed 

Drawing your blinds and curtains can cool your room by as much as 3 or 4 degrees on a hot day. External features like awnings, shade sails and roller shutters can also prevent direct sunlight from getting in the window and heating up your room. They may also add value to your home, especially if you live in a warmer state. 

Keep the fan on

If you don’t want to fork out for air conditioning, a ceiling or standing fan is the next best thing. Fans use around 25%-50% less energy than a small reverse cycle air conditioner, and this can help you save on energy costs during summer. 

While fans won’t necessarily change the air temperature, they can help with circulation and flushing out hot air. You can also combine this with a spray bottle to cool your skin or face. 

Set your aircon to an optimal temperature

If you still plan to use air conditioning, make sure the thermostat is set to an economical temperature. Most people keep their aircon set to around 22 degrees in summer, but increasing the temperature to 24 degrees can shave as much as $76 off your quarterly energy bill. 

Try and only cool the rooms you’ll be using on a hot day if possible. There’s no point in cooling the whole house if you’re only going to be occupying one or two rooms. 

Use an energy-efficient aircon unit 

There’s a big difference between air conditioning models when it comes to energy consumption. Energy-efficient models are better for your bank balance and kinder to the environment. If you’re shopping around for a new aircon, or want to see how your current model stacks up, check the make or brand against the Energy Rating System. This rates electrical products from one to six depending on their energy efficiency – the higher the rating, the more efficient they are. 

Australian summers can be unbearably hot at times, but you can still keep cool without blowing the budget.

Bessie Hassan
Bessie Hassan is a money expert at Finder. She has previously worked for a range of iconic publications with her widely published byline appearing in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Marie Claire, and Women’s Health, among many others.
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