Hannah Corbett – Energy Efficiency in the Summer
Being mindful of your energy usage is often just associated with the colder months of the year, and keeping your home warm. But, keeping cool in the spring and summer months can use just as much energy as staying warm in the winter. It’s important to monitor your energy usage all year round, and the below tips can help you to stay at the peak of energy efficiency at warmer times of the year.
Use your appliances wisely in the summer, as you would in the winter. Set a cooler temperature on the washing machine, and don’t tumble dry if you can help it. You don’t need a lot of space to dry clothes outside, nor do you need glaringly-strong sunlight: it’s amazing how much even a cool breeze can do. The same goes for your dishwasher – try to use lower temperatures and air dry your dishes, too. Appliances produce heat when in use, so the more you use them, the more you’re heating up your house.
One of the most simple ways to cool your house is to keep curtains and blinds closed in the day time. It’s tempting to let the summer sun come shining into every room of your house, but, doing so actually heats your house. Keeping curtains and blinds shut as much as possible in the day time helps to keep the heat out and the temperature down.
Watch the Water
Warmer weather usually means greater water consumption, whether it’s filling up a paddling pool in the garden or taking more showers to cool off. Taking cooler showers means less energy is used to heat your water up, but make sure to take shorter showers, too. You could also buy an energy efficient shower head to slice your water consumption. Try to re-use water as much as possible. For example, why not leave that paddling pool out to collect rainwater (if it rains), then use it to water your garden and plants.
If you do use air conditioning in your home, did you know that it’s actually more efficient when on and off for short intervals, rather than on all the time? You can also use fans to circulate air around your house. Making sure your air conditioning unit is not dated and serviced regularly will ensure that it is working as efficiently as possible and not wasting energy unnecessarily. If it’s breezy outside, forget the air con – let the cool wind blow round your house.
Using a microwave or a grill is more energy efficient than using the oven. Many people tend to prefer lighter meals in warmer weather, so it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid the oven. A full fridge runs more efficiently than an empty one, and the summer months are the perfect time to stock up on plenty of veggies, fruits and salads.
Hannah Corbett is a writer for UK Power, concerned with all things energy efficiency and green lifestyle choices. Follow her on Twitter to keep up with the latest energy news, and more ways to save energy and improve efficiency.