Keep­ing cool needn’t break the bud­get

North Taranaki Midweek - - OUT & ABOUT - KATH BROWN

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.’’

Use fans

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.

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