Keep your cool while reducing energy costs and environmental impact
With Summer’s temperatures often spiking to uncomfortable highs, it can be tricky to stay cool and not blow out your electricity bill. Depending on your situation, you may choose to simply pump up the air-conditioner (if you are lucky enough to have one at home), turn your fans to high or even stand in front of the open fridge. We get it, that sounds like the quickest and most effective way to stay cool.
If, however, you are trying to minimise your electricity usage and the ensuing costs, or don’t have adequate cooling in your property, we have a few tried and tested tips to follow:
1) Close the blinds in rooms where the sun hits the most
In rooms with north or west-facing windows, you can reduce the temperature in the room by closing the blinds or curtains. Don’t’ forget closing the blinds on skylights if they are installed. Don’t forget to open any external awnings to create more shade on the property.
2) Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise
In Summer, you want the air in the room to gently hit your skin to cool it down. If your ceiling fan allows, adjust your settings so the air is pushed down rather merely pushing the hot air around the room. This means changing the setting to counter-clockwise. It is also recommended to set the speed high to get the best airflow. Remember though, fans do not necessarily cool the air in the room, so if there are no people in the room, turn it off to save electricity.
3) Create natural airflow
Depending on your house or unit configuration, you can create a vacuum for air flow – even if the air outside is hot. To create a vacuum, you need to have pressure and two openings opposite each other – one for the air to come in and an opening for it to leave.
The shaded or cooler sider of your house or unit (often south-facing or near an outside shaded area) will pull cool air in. The warmer side is perfect to push the air out – such as balcony door, window, or opposite door. If you have two levels in your property, focus on the bottom level. Consider determining the best flow like a little science experiment!
4) Create your own cold mist machine
When you really can’t cool down and don’t own an air conditioner, place a shallow bowl of ice directly in front of your fan to create a cool breeze. Obviously, you will need to sit close to the fan to get the best experience!
5) Keep your body cool
No doubt, you will probably be wearing cooler clothing on a hot day, make sure what you choose is cotton, loose and lightweight. It’s also a great idea to sip iced water or other refreshing drinks regularly through the day plus keep a small damp cloth handy to apply to your pressure points.
Don’t forget your furry friends. Make sure their water is cool and plentiful and if you need to go out and leave them, add an ice cube to their water and make sure they have a spot that is cool with air flowing. If you take them with you, never leave them in the car, even for a few minutes and check that the pavement heat isn’t too hot for their soft paws (yes, we are animal lovers here at Nectr)
6) Set your air conditioner to around 24 degrees Celsius
We know that reducing the temperature thermostat lower than 20˚ on your air-con will greatly cool the room down but this can also greatly increase the running costs of your air conditioner. Reducing the thermostat by just 1˚C can increase running costs by 10%. It is recommended that you set your air conditioner to 24˚C to slowly cool the room to a temperature that is cool (not cold) and can be maintained.
7) Checking in on others
While this isn’t really a tip, we also recommend that you check in with elderly relatives to ensure they are keeping cool today. Perhaps you can stop by and implement some of these tips that we’ve covered.
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