Summer really is for solar. Longer sunshine hours mean the solar panels on your roof are generating more electricity and keeping your smart battery topped up for longer.
All this extra sunshine, however, also means warmer days. And, as we can only remove so many clothes we have to turn to other means to keep cool - like the trusty air conditioner. To make sure you’re not churning through power, and wasting the energy generated by your solar panels, we’ve compiled these handy tips to help you make the most of your solar energy, while also keeping your home cool and comfortable.
Before you turn on the air conditioner
Your air conditioning unit isn't your only key to keeping your home cool. You may find that the following are enough to keep you comfortable.
Tip 1: Keep the heat out
Start off by shutting your curtains and blinds, and opening your doors and windows. By blocking out the sun you reduce how much your home heats up, and airflow helps provide a cooling effect - just like a breeze does when you’re in the outdoors.
Tip 2: Try your fans first
If you have any fans - tabletop, floor or ceiling - try using these before you turn on the air conditioner as they use a lot less energy but still help cool you down. Even a heat-pump on fan mode, rather than cooling, uses less energy and can save you a lot of money. The cooling mode can cost you between $60 and $120 per summer, while fan mode will cost only a fraction of that.
Tip 3: Consider insulating your home
A well-insulated home not only helps keep you warm in winter, but it also keeps you cool in summer by blocking out the sun’s heat. Best of all, it’s a long term investment as, depending on the insulation you have, it can last between 50 to 70 years and beyond.
Using your air conditioner most efficiently
If the above is still leaving you hot and sweaty, here are some tips to using your air conditioner more efficiently.
Tip 4: Try dehumidifier mode
One of the reasons it can feel so hot here in New Zealand is because of the humidity. Reducing humidity can therefore also make you feel more comfortable. Like fan mode, the dehumidifier mode uses less energy, but can still make a difference to the temperature of your home.
Tip 5: Cool the room you’re in
Just like in winter, there’s no point heating or cooling a room if you’re not in there to enjoy it. So, when you turn on the air conditioner to keep you cool close the doors to the rest of the house to keep it contained.
Tip 6: Keep a consistent temperature
Try and keep your home at a consistent temperature, like 24 degrees, and you can even pre-cool your home. Turning your air conditioner on mid-day or early afternoon uses the solar energy you generate during the day and will help keep your home cool as you head into the evening.
Tip 7: Give your filters a clean
Clogged, dirty air filters block airflow and means your air conditioner won’t run optimally. So give the filter a clean with your vacuum cleaner, using the brush attachment, so it doesn’t have to work as hard.
Finally, if you’re still finding it hard to beat the heat, why not abandon your home completely (for a few hours anyway) and find a shady spot for a picnic or a barbecue. Just remember to slap on some sunscreen!
To learn more about powering your home with sunshine during the summer, check out www.solarZero.co.nz/solarzero or give us a call on 0800 11 66 55 today.