Energy-efficient cooling

On a hot summer day, there's nothing more blissful than coming back to a pleasantly cool home. Blissful, that is, until the energy bill arrives. Across Australia, the average home spends around 40% of its energy costs on heating and cooling, so improving the energy efficiency of your cooling system can really help save you money. 

Energy-efficient design

If you're building a new home or making major revisions, you may have the chance to incorporate energy-saving features into your design; for instance, north-facing windows maximise natural heat during the winter months and avoid the worst of the glare in summer. Even if you can't make major changes to an existing building, adding features to your home such as awnings over windows can cut down on summer temperatures, reducing your need for cooling. 

Cooling options

Air conditioning isn't the only way to cool a home, although it's the best for dealing with very high temperatures. Cooling fans can deal with most temperatures, and they're more energy-efficient than air conditioning. If you live in an arid area, you could also try an evaporative cooler, which is slightly less energy-efficient than a fan but very effective. You don't need to rely solely on one cooling system, though; installing both fans and air conditioners gives you a range of options. When the heat gets too much, use fans to circulate cool air throughout your home. If it's still too warm, it's time for the air conditioner to do its work. 

Finding the right air conditioner for you

Air conditioning may be the most energy-intensive form of cooling, but not all air conditioners are the same. If you want to maximise your energy savings, invest in a reverse-cycle air conditioner, which can both heat and cool your home, adjusting to the needed temperature (although cooling-only units are available). These units can be expensive, but they're by far the most energy efficient systems on the market. No matter what kind of air conditioner you choose, check out its Energy Rating Label. This will give you a clear idea of its efficiency and its expected energy consumption in kilowatt-hours per year. The higher the star rating and the lower the consumption, the better for your energy bill. 

Wanting to save on energy and reduce pollution doesn't mean that you have to sweat miserably through the summer months. Choose energy-efficient cooling methods, and you'll be able to beat the heat in comfort. Click for more info about this topic.