How to create an airtight home
Drawing your curtains closed in the daytime is a good way to reflect the summer heat and keep your home cool. You could also install outdoor blinds or shutters which can reduce heat building up inside your home.
A lighter colour roof will reflect the summer sun more and reduce the amount of heat that's transferred into your home.
Another simple tip to cool your place down is to leave your windows open at night to let the cool air in. You may also want to install flyscreens on the windows you plan on opening to keep the bugs at bay.
A good way to reduce your energy bill is by using a ceiling fan instead of an air conditioner. If you are going to use an air conditioner, make sure that the filter is clean and it's running well. A good tip is that setting the air conditioner just 1 degree warmer than normal can cut your cooling costs by up to 10%.
To help make your home more energy-efficient and cool in summer, check whether your insulation needs topping up and that it's in good condition. This can make a big difference to how it performs.
Another way to cool your home is by installing a roof vent. Whether you choose a powered or natural roof vent, they're easy to install and work by drawing hot air and humidity out of your home.
You should also try to get rid of any gaps in your ceiling, doors, walls and windows around your home with draft sealers. By creating an airtight home, you will reduce your electricity consumption.
Lighting your home can consume between 8% - 15% of your electricity bill. By installing LED bulbs, you could reduce this by up to 50%. LEDs are 85% more efficient than traditional light bulbs and have a lifespan of 10,000 - 50,000 hours. You can find an LED for pendant lights, desk lamps, outdoor garden lights and bulbs that are compatible with dimmer switches.
Adding a few solar powered garden lights looks great outside and can help you use less electricity. Solar garden lighting is easy to install and allows you to highlight a feature in your garden or light up a garden path.
Electrical appliances are rated using a star system to show how energy efficient they are. The more stars an appliance has, the more efficient it is. In the long-run, choosing an appliance with more stars can save you money, even if it costs more to purchase initially.
A good tip for saving energy at home is to use a clothesline instead of a dryer to dry your clothes. You'll find a clothesline to suit whatever space you have with some clever space saving clotheslines available. In summer especially, you'll find things dry quickly.
Installing a home automation system is a great way to control your home's temperature and not burn energy when you aren't there.
For more hints and tips to go green, view our D.I.Y Sustainability section.