You are already aware that the best way to slash your electricity bills is to switch to solar energy. This is one of the key benefits of solar panels. But if you’ve already installed any of the many different types of solar panels available, then how can you cut even more dollars off your annual electricity costs? Here are some tips to save energy (and money) this summer.
Check your home’s insulation
Of your power bill’s biggest enemies is poor insulation. In really simple terms, insulation helps to keep the warm air out of your home during summer. Whether you have it installed in your walls, under the floor or in your roof cavity, insulation reduces the chance of heat seeping through into your living areas.
With proper insulation, your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature, which in turn, reduces your electricity costs. While it’s not always easy to check your wall insulation, you can take a look at what’s in your roof cavity and replace it if necessary.
Skylights are a fantastic way to invite natural light into your home without having the extra heat that you would normally get through your windows. Choosing a high-quality tubular skylight with a diffuser will ensure you get all the benefits of natural light, with none of the unwanted heat from the sun.
If extra heat isn’t a big problem for you, you can choose traditional, larger skylights; however, tubular skylights are the way to go for the best energy efficiency.
Run costly appliances during the day
If you’ve got solar energy, you’ll be aware that you can only benefit from it while the sun is shining unless you have batteries like the Tesla Powerwall Home Battery System. So, one of the best ways to keep your energy bills down in summer is to run appliances during the day while they can be powered from your system. For example, program your washing machine and dishwasher to run at the sunniest part of the day.
To save even more, try to make sure the appliances aren’t running simultaneously. Sometimes, this can require too much energy, and if your system isn’t producing enough solar power at the time, you’ll end up paying for excess electricity.
The roof cavity of your home can get extremely hot during summer. If you don’t have quality insulation, heat radiates through the roof into the roof cavity and then ultimately into your living areas. Even if you do have insulation, this space can get so hot that it won’t protect you from all the heat. In addition, a build-up of hot air can also cause moisture issues.
Installing effective roof ventilation ensures that warm air is extracted from your roof rather than building up all day. This means less heat sneaking into your home and lower air conditioner costs.
Close curtains during the day
Are you tired of coming home to a hot house and needing to blast your air conditioner for comfort? Among the best ways to keep your house cool while you’re out is to close the curtains. No matter whether you have traditional curtains, blinds or some other variation, they can all help to keep your home cooler while the sun is beating down outside.
Even if you spend a lot of time at home during the day, consider keeping the blinds closed and installing a skylight, so you get the best of both worlds.
Make use of the BBQ
When you do a lot of cooking in your kitchen, the temperature can get pretty unpleasant. The heat generated can also filter through to the rest of the house. So, not only do you have the expense of using your oven and stove, but you also have increased electricity costs because your air conditioner has to work harder. When the weather is nice, you can avoid these costs by using the BBQ instead.
Cooking outside is not only pleasant during summer, but it can also save you some money. Plus, there’s less cleaning up to do!
Close off unused parts of the house
It sounds simple, but it’s something that so many people forget. If some rooms of the house don’t get used much, for example, spare bedrooms or second living areas, close them up. When your air conditioner tries to cool down a larger space, it uses more electricity to do so.
If you’re able to close off some parts of your home, it’s easier for your AC to cope, and your energy bills will go down as a result.
Harness the evening breeze
While it’s never a good idea to open your windows during the middle of the day when it’s hot outside, consider doing it in the evening. It’s not uncommon to get a nice, cool breeze at night time, so why not let nature cool your house down? Switch off the fans and air conditioner, and let the evening breeze do the work for you.
The easiest places for heat to sneak into your home is around the doors and windows. Even the smallest gaps can allow significant heat to enter, making your air conditioner work overtime to counteract the extra heat. You can use weatherstripping around doors and windows to ensure there are no spots for warmth to seep in.
You can buy weatherstripping at the hardware store and install it easily yourself, so it’s a cost-effective solution to rising energy prices. Plus, it’s also great in winter for keeping the cold air outside!
Dry your clothes outside
Clothes dryers can put a big strain on your energy bills, so it’s a good idea to use them sparingly. We’re lucky in Australia to have a pleasant climate for most of the year, so unless you urgently need something dried, use your clothesline instead. With plenty of sunshine and wind around in summer, all of your washing should dry quickly outside, and you’ll save some dollars in the process.
Schedule regular solar panel maintenance
Finally, keeping your solar panel system in good working order ensures better efficiency. The more solar power you generate, the more chance you’ll have of shaving some dollars off your electricity bill. Regular solar panel cleaning makes sure that there’s no grime, debris or bird droppings reducing the efficiency of your panels. More solar, more savings!