Keeping cool needn’t break the budget
We don’t need to be told that it has been really hot in the last week or so.
For many how to keep your home cool without blowing your energy bill is a problem.
Technical expert Allen Davison from EECA Energywise says more New Zealanders are using their heat pumps as air conditioners in summer and there are tactics to avoid big energy bills. For example using the fan only setting helps you feel cooler by creating a breeze.
‘‘This setting uses a lot less electricity than the full cooling mode. Keep your windows open while using the fan only mode.’’
Selecting the dehumidifying mode also used less electricity than the full cooling mode, Davison said.
‘‘This works well if it’s humidity rather than the temperature that’s the problem. Shut your doors and windows in the rooms you’re dehumidifying.’’
Davison suggests only using cooling mode on really hot days when the other methods aren’t enough.
‘‘Shut all your doors and windows in the rooms you’re cooling. It’s best to cool one room as this is what most heat pumps/ air conditioners are sized for. Set the thermostat to around 22˚C. The room won’t cool down any quicker if you set it lower, but you are likely to use more electricity by overcooling.’’
Floor and desktop fans are relatively cheap to buy and install, and are much cheaper to run than air conditioning.
Close blinds and curtains
Closing blinds and curtains at windows that receive direct sun provides shade from the hot sun. Longer term solutions
Plant deciduous trees on the north and west sides of your home - they provide shade in summer, but lose their leaves in winter and allow sunlight through. You can also use trellises for growing plants to shade your windows in summer. Install external window shades - such as blinds, awnings or louvres. They allow you to shade rooms in summer, but let light and heat in at other times of the year.
External shading is much more effective than internal shading as it blocks the sun’s heat before it gets inside your home. When building, design eaves (or roof overhangs) above northfacing windows - to stop direct sunlight entering rooms at the height of summer, but allowing direct light in the rest of the year.
Afanisa cheaper way to keep cool than air conditioning.