Preparing for summer

Spring has well and truly arrived. Trees are blossoming, bees are out and some of us are very relieved to be putting away our beanies and winter coats for a while.

But it probably won’t be long before the heat gets more extreme and this can get us down, while making our energy bills go up.

When the weather heats up many people turn on their air conditioners, which can put a strain on the electricity grid and can lead to black outs. It also means that your power bill could go up.

Here are some simple tips on ways to keep your cool this summer and keep your bills down:

  1. Shade your windows. Keeping the sun off your windows stops the glass heating up and that heat radiating back into your home. If external shading is not an option then it is worth considering using a reflective window covering on the inside. Here’s a link to an article about windows that gives more detail.
  2. When the sun is out try to keep the temperature inside the house from rising by closing windows and doors and closing curtains and blinds. Then in the evening when the temperature outside drops open up the windows and doors to flush the warm air out.
  3. Use fans instead of air conditioning. Fans use a fraction of the amount of electricity compared to air conditioners and can keep you cool by circulating cooler air and cooling your skin. A simple way to cool yourself down is by using water and fans. You can spritz yourself with cool water or use a wet face washer or bandanna on your neck or head and then use a fan to help that water evaporate and cool you down. Putting your feet in a bucket of cool water can also bring your body temperature down.
  4. Don’t heat your home with lights. Remember that incandescent and halogen lights can give off heat when on, so wherever possible switch your light globes to LEDs. They use less power, last longer and won’t heat your home.
  5. Try to eat fresh food that doesn’t need to be cooked, to reduce the amount of heat in your home from cooking.
  6. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and try not to consume alcohol or caffeine, as these can cause dehydration.
  7. Pre-cool your home. By running your air conditioner in a well insulated home before the heat of the day, you can reduce the risk of placing a strain on the electricity grid whilst keeping your home nice and cool for you.
  8. Utilise your solar power. If you have solar then make sure you are using electricity when the sun is shining, so that you are getting it for free from your roof. But if you can’t use it during the day don’t worry – it won’t be wasted. It will go into the grid and help power someone else’s home. If you have air conditioning and are considering installing solar to power this during the day sign up for a quote from our selected supplier.
  9. If you are having trouble keeping you or your home cool then consider going to a shopping centre, cinema, swimming pool or a friends house where there is air conditioning.
  10. If you feel unwell seek medical advice or call 000.