With summer finally arriving in the UK, we can start to look forward to the long summer evenings, warm sunny weather and BBQs in the back garden. Despite spending most of the year waiting to escape the cold grasp of winter, the summer months often don’t provide the financial relief we anticipate.
The winter is most commonly associated with high energy bills as we all turn up the thermostat and have the central heating on 24 hours a day, but the hot weather can also increase our usage. During the hot weather, we’re likely to take more showers and crank up the air conditioning to stay cool, so before you start celebrating the arrival of summer, take a look at these top energy saving tips for summer.
Update your air conditioning system
Technology has developed significantly in recent years, so if you’ve got an old air conditioning system, you could save some money by updating it for a newer energy efficient one. Although you’ll have to pay for the intial outlay, a newer model can help you keep electricity bills to a minimum for many years.
You can also fit timers and sensors to the unit to ensure that you’re not paying to keep the house cool when there’s no one there. Make sure that the thermostat is set at least 5-10°C above when your central heating is set to turn off. There should be a temperature gap where people feel naturally comfortable, meaning that you don’t need to use any energy.
Change the way you cook
You can help keep your energy bills down by changing your cooking method. How about an outdoor grill or BBQ instead of the oven? It is summer after all.
Using the oven doesn’t just consume loads of energy, it also increases the ambient temperature in the house, meaning that the air con has to work twice as hard. If you can’t stay away from the oven and require it for long periods of time, try using it early in the morning or later in the evening when it’s likely to be cooler.
Adjust your thermostat
Gas and electricity prices are continuing to rise, so it’s important that you don’t waste unnecessary energy. One way to ensure you’re not consuming too much, is to change your manual thermostat to a new automated one. This means that you can programme the air conditioning unit to switch on when it’s most appropriate – saving energy and money.
Keep the heat out
You might think that air conditioning is the only way to reduce the temperature in your home, but there are some much simpler methods. Closing the curtains and blinds will prevent the sun flooding into the room and keep the heat out. Another way to prevent your air conditioning unit working overtime is to place it in the shadow of another object, such as a large plant.
Hang the washing out
Instead of forking out a fortune for the energy required to put on the tumble dryer, hang out the washing in the garden. Even if you’ve only got a small garden space, you can hang the clothes on an airer or clothes horse. By allowing nature to take it’s course, you’ll avoid paying over the odds for your electricity bill.
Enjoy a cool shower
With the sun beaming down on you all day long, you’re undoubtedly trying to stay as cool as possible at all times, so instead of a warm or hot shower, turn down the temperature. You’ll not only get a more comfortable and refreshing shower, but you’ll save money at the same time. You could also try having a quicker shower to save even more energy. Using cold water for your washing machine and dishwasher will also keep costs down.
Change the lightbulbs
If you haven’t already swapped your old lightbulbs for new energy efficient ones, you could be wasting lots of electricity. Energy-saving bulbs have three main advantages: they use less energy, emit brighter light and don’t need to be replaced as frequently.
Take advantage of the summer weather
As we live in the UK, we need to take advantage of the sunshine while we have it as it can quickly be replaced by cold, damp weather. Whether you’re just sitting outside rather than on the sofa, doing a spot of gardening, having a picnic or doing a bit of exercise, spending time in the great outdoors will reduce the energy being used in the home.
Although we tend to use more energy in the winter months, many people are surprised at how much we use during the summer too. However, it’s easier to save energy than you might think – saving on gas and electrity doesn’t have to be really difficult. Just by following these simple tips, you could help keep energy usage to a minimum, which will in turn help you save money and the environment – it’s a win-win situation.