Cut your power bill this Autumn
Autumn comes to Australia and people heave a sigh of relief, waving goodbye to the high temperatures of summer and throwing open their windows for the cool, fragrant breezes of the season. Autumn is the favorite season for many people, who regard it as an ideal mix between the heat of summer and the chill of winter – with spectacular scenery, too. But this mix of seasons and temperatures also means a lot of people relax their vigilance in regards to their energy consumption. It’s easy to think that you only need to worry about your energy consumption when it’s extremely hot or extremely cold – but it’s just as important to manage your carbon footprint in Autumn, for a variety of reasons.
Energy efficiency in the Autumn months
Many of the actions we are inspired to take during Autumn actually work against us, as we are lulled into a false sense of security by the still-warm days. As the evenings cool down, instead of turning the heater on throw on some socks and a sweater instead. Put some rugs down on your hardwood or tile floors to keep the night-time chill at bay. During the day, keeping your windows and doors closed with the shades up will not only let your heating system work up to peak energy efficiency, letting the sun in will heat up your home naturally for extra energy savings.
The long winter often means that things like filters and vents have been allowed to grow dirty and clogged from disuse, and we forget to clean them before firing everything up. And in general people tend to be out of energy saving practice, conspiring to make Autumn a wasteful month. Cleaning those aforementioned filters and vents will chip dollars from your energy bills as it lets your system operate at its best. Change the direction of your ceiling fans, too, so they push the warmed air back down instead of pulling it up – this will help keep the house warm as the temperature drops.
But there’s plenty more to be done as Autumn settles in. A few power button standby switches – like an EcoSwitch – used to control your electronic devices can reduce your bills and energy use drastically. Making these changes now means your home will be ready when the Winter arrives, and the additional heating costs can be offset by these simple energy-saving measures. Once your energy saving switches are implemented, get in the habit of actually using them to make sure your house isn’t sipping standby power around the clock.
Other energy-saving solutions
Autumn is a great time of the year to think about other solutions that can make your home more energy efficient. Solar panel installation in the Autumn months can instantly improve your home’s energy use and self-sufficiency. A little known fact is that solar panels actually do best during the Autumn months. The heat of summer can actually have an adverse effect on solar panels; excess heat makes them operate inefficiently. But during Autumn they enjoy bright, clear sunshine without the high temperatures of summer, and operate at peak efficiency.
The combination of a solar panel system and an EcoSwitch is a match made in heaven; as your home will generate a portion of its own electricity needs and the EcoSwitch will ensure that your home’s hard-won electricity will be used to its best advantage.
Final touches for energy efficiency
There are plenty of other opportunities to get your home ready for Autumn (and Winter, following close on the heels of Autumn). With bright, warm days it’s the perfect opportunity to clean your windows to let the most light and warmth inside, as well as the perfect opportunity to check your windows and doors for leaks and cracks in the weather stripping and caulking – this alone can save an additional 20% of your heat usage.
Older homes often have what are called ‘cavity walls’ which are hollow – meaning they are terrible for energy conservation. Consider using the pleasant weather to open up the walls and have insulation added to your home to seal it up and make it warmer by default.
So instead of simply enjoying this Autumn, why don’t you also make it work for you? In doing so, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint all year round, not just when it’s uncomfortable outside!