Heating and Cooling

Keeping cool or staying warm play a big part in the energy use of most Aussie homes. So it’s worth reviewing ways it could be optimised for cheaper bills and less impact on the planet.

We’ve put together some quick tips you can take advantage of now. If you would like a more personalised view of your energy use, check out the emerald EMS.

1. Avoid cranking the cooling or hiking up the heat.

When it’s a scorcher outside or it feels like you’re living in the North Pole, it can be tempting to whack up the cooling or heating instantly but it’s much more energy-efficient (meaning less expensive and less impact on the environment) if you heat or cool your house over time because it doesn’t put a strain on the unit, making it work harder and burn through more power. As a standard, it’s estimated that an air conditioner’s temperature should be set to 25 to 27 degrees for heating and around 18 to 20 degrees for cooling. For every one degree cooler or hotter you go it adds around 10% to the amount of electricity that the air conditioner uses.

2. Don’t waste your energy, literally

So now you’ve got your house to the perfect temperature and you’re feeling comfortable don’t just let all that energy escape out the doors or windows. Whether you want to keep the heat in or the cold out, make sure you’re insulating properly and setting the space up for success. Things like draught stoppers are inexpensive but can go a long way in making sure your air isn’t escaping through the gaps. Keeping your windows closed can help keep the heat in but closing blinds and curtains during hot summer days can help keep the sunshine at bay.

3. Your biggest fan

Using a pedestal or ceiling fan instead of the inbuilt air-con can save you money when you’re only trying to cool down a small area, or yourself, and you want to do it quickly. Fans will help distribute and circulate the air and help you feel cooler without needing to turn on the whole air-conditioning unit and using a lot of power.

4. Save money by servicing

Maintaining your heater or cooler throughout the year, even in periods when you’re not using it, can help you save money and keep your unit running more effectively. Regularly cleaning and ensuring there is no dust or fluff in the vents can stop your aircon from working unnecessarily hard; it’ll perform better so you can feel the benefits quicker. It will also help prolong the life of your unit before it needs to be replaced, making it more cost and energy-efficient. Check your owners manual to find out the best way to maintain your air-conditioner.

5. Adjust your clothing

We don’t mean to sound like your parents but are you sure you need to stick the heating or cooling on? Sometimes putting on or removing layers can help you reset to a comfortable temperature yourself. A nice cosy jumper and some socks could be all you need to warm up or snuggle up on the sofa with a soft fuzzy blanket, and you might save yourself from needing to splash out on the heat.

6. Only heat (or cool) where you need it

In winter, once you’re all cosy in bed, you might find you only need a little space heater that you can use with a remote control instead of heating the whole room or house. Or consider a heated blanket or hot water bottle. If you’re feeling warm and want to cool down, a fan or a cool pack can help you feel more comfortable and will mean you’re not cooling the whole room unnecessarily.