While new split heating and cooling units or a backyard swimming pool are splurges that can help you better survive the seasons, they won’t do much to keep your energy bills at bay. Give some of these tips a shot instead and see how they can help manage your home energy usage
Don’t let a draft have the last laugh.
Close doors, seal cracks around windowsills and skirting boards and rest draft blockers along the bottom of your doorframes and you’re bound to help your air conditioner and heater hit that right temperature sooner – not to mention, gobble less energy getting there.
Suss out the right shower head.
Lurking behind your shower’s steaming hot water is a system that can be a big burden on your gas and electricity bills. But install a water-efficient shower head and you could slash the amount of water it uses, saving on both your water and water heating bills.
Give your washing the cold shoulder.
Hot water can put the heat on your laundry’s energy costs – even when most clothes are cool with cold water wash. Not only can washing cold cycle extend the life of some fabrics, it reduces your energy use, saving you for your next shopping spree.
Does your dryer need a little extra space?
Leave about a quarter of your dryer’s barrel empty and you should find your clothes can dry faster, fresher and by using less energy. Or for even more energy efficient laundry, pop your linens on the line in the backyard and see how the sun and wind can do your dryer’s dirty work for donuts.
Pull the plug on appliances.
Did you know that many appliances use electricity even when they’re switched “off”? Plasma TVs and computers are just some of the power-hungry appliances that happily sit in “stand by” and burn through electricity just because they’re plugged in. Unplugging these cunning, costly gadgets before going to bed and work can save your significantly on your energy use.
Have a “light-bulb moment”.
Get onto replacing any of your leftover standard incandescent and halogen light bulbs – especially when the initial outlay for more energy efficient lights could quickly pay for itself.
Out with the old, in with the new.
A professional service can give your old fridge or air conditioner a new lease on life, but if it lives longer than 10 or 15 years it may be more cost effective to swap the appliance for a younger model. And when you’re out shopping, watch for the Energy Rating stars: the more stars, the less energy the appliance uses.
Mingle with your fans.
They can’t reduce temperature the way air conditioners do, but fans are still pretty clever – using a lot less energy to circulate the air and keep the room temperature consistent and comfortable. So whenever the mercury’s on the rise, throw your support behind ceiling and pedestal fans.
For more on how to be energy efficient in the heat of summer, read our ‘Fan vs Air Conditioner’ FAQ on Community; AGL’s online forum where you can ask questions and get answers about energy.
You can now also track how much energy you’re using between bills with My Account; AGL’s online account tool. It provides daily usage updates and next-bill projections (if you have a digital meter) and lets you view your historical usage so you can see where any spikes are occurring. Click here to register and learn more (AGL customers only).
Not an AGL customer? Click here to view our energy deals in your state.