With summer around the corner, it’s important to note that winter is not the only time that utility bills can increase.
Summertime can mean that you feel the need to run air conditioners or fans almost constantly, for example, and that you need to use more water in the garden, take more showers and run the pool pump more hours a day.
All of these factors can leave you with much less money in your monthly budget – so if you’re trying to save for a deposit to buy a home, these energy-saving measures are worth implementing.
Implement the following measures over the next few months:
- Keep window shades, blinds, curtains or drapes closed to block out sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
- Set your air conditioning to 22 or 23 degrees when you’re at home, and off when you are not. If you want to walk into a cool home, use smart technology to turn the system on about 15 minutes before you arrive.
- Move lamps, TVs and any other heat sources away from air conditioners to prevent them from affecting the thermostat and causing the unit to run longer than necessary.
- Keep furniture and other obstacles away from the front of central air conditioning ducts so that the cooler air can circulate freely.
- Keep your air conditioner units and ceiling fans well maintained.
- Switch off any fans at night or when you’re not at home to save electricity.
- Whenever possible, use a microwave to cook your meals instead of using a traditional electric oven or stove.
- Make sure that your appliances are Energy Star.
- Keep unused rooms closed off from the rest of the house.
- Wherever you can, replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent lamps or LEDs.
- Keep the fridge doors shut as much as possible and avoid placing hot items inside to cool.
- Store bottles of tap water to drink in the fridge to reduce running water use.
- Water the garden at night or during the coolest part of the day and, if possible, use borehole water.
- Dry your laundry outdoors instead of using a tumble dryer.
If you are already a home-owner, you can make even further savings:
- Take advantage of the summer rains and invest in a rainwater tank.
- Use a shade net or grow plants in your garden to shield your home or windows from the heat.
- Install dimmer switches or timers where appropriate. Turn off all lights that are not in use.
- Take advantage of the hot sun and install some solar panels or a solar-powered geyser to save energy.
- If you have a pool, keep it covered when not in use to reduce evaporation and avoid having to refill it too often.