With both temperatures and energy prices on the rise, it’s more important than ever to know how you can reduce your energy bills (and keep your home cool).
At the same time, more and more of us are conscious of our energy usage and its impact on climate change.
So how do you conserve energy in the summer season? Let’s explore.
1. Cool your home with natural ventilation
While we advise against opening (particularly south-facing) windows to let in the heat of the day, you can open windows first thing in the morning and in the evening to let in cool air.
When you do open windows, you can try to create a cross-breeze by opening one on each side of your home.
2. Hang clothes outside
Not only do tumble dryers use a lot of energy, but they generate heat, too. You can cut back on both of these by making the most of hot outdoor air to dry your clothes.
If you suffer from pollen allergies, make sure you do your washes on low-pollen days and shake dry clothes out before bringing them back in. Or, if your hayfever is particularly bad, try air-drying clothes indoors by a sunny window (with an energy-efficient dehumidifier on if possible)!
3. Save water where you can
Hot showers contribute to increased indoor temperatures and unnecessary energy consumption. Plus, cool showers are just what you need in summer anyway!
Turn the temperature dial down a few notches and reduce your shower time to conserve both water and energy.
To enjoy a shower without rushing to cut the time down dramatically, you could try switching to a ‘low flow’ head fitting. All Thakeham homes are kitted out with aerated taps and shower heads that can reduce the flow of water by up to 10 litres per minute — so you can enjoy your usual shower, minus the guilt of water usage.
Another great way to save water and energy is to be conservative with the dishwasher and washing machine. Only run the dishwasher when it’s full, and wash clothes at low temperatures (30°C) wherever possible.
It’s also worth looking into whether you qualify for free water saving items via Save Water Save Money, through which many water companies offer their customers free or reduced-price sustainable water supplies like shower regulators and water butts.
By making small adjustments to your water usage, you can make a significant difference in your energy savings.
4. Invest in a smart meter
A smart meter is an invaluable addition to your home, helping you manage heating schedules and save on summer energy bills. They typically come with on-counter or phone displays that give you a quick snapshot of your energy usage so you know what your spend looks like throughout the day.
Smart thermostats come in handy, too. If your home is prone to getting chilly in summer evenings, then you can use your smart thermostat to automate a heating schedule that only comes on, say, past 10pm. Not only does this save you having to manually manage the temperature, but it also saves energy by ensuring heating is on only when absolutely necessary.
You can then easily put a pause on all heating when the weather gets really hot — even if you’re away from home.
For these reasons, every Woodgate home has a smart meter and WiFi programmable heating controls.
5. Close south-facing curtains
Another effective way to prevent heat from entering your home in the warm season is by keeping your curtains closed during the day — particularly on south-facing windows that receive the most direct sunlight.
By closing the curtains or blinds on one side of your home, you can block out the sun’s rays and reduce heat buildup. That way, you can reduce your use of fans and air conditioning units (which can be quite costly).
If you find that your windows still let in too much heat (say, if they are only single-glazed), then you might choose to install heat blocking or reflective films. Transparent window film helps block out UV rays, allowing you to enjoy a cool – but still light – interior.
6. Seal and insulate
Insulation is not just beneficial during winter; as a heat-regulating material, it can also help keep heat out during the summer months.
Thakeham homes are fitted with insulation that does just that. In fact, the average Woodgate home is four times more energy efficient than a 1970’s house, and seven times more energy efficient than a Victorian home!
Ensure your home is properly insulated to prevent outdoor heat from seeping in and cool air from escaping. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check for any cracks or gaps under doors and windows, as they can be sources of unwanted heat gain. Seal these openings with caulk or weather stripping to maintain a cooler indoor temperature.
7. Spend time outdoors
While this isn’t a catch-all solution, it’s definitely an overlooked means of saving on energy. We’re often reliant on our homes for cooling us down despite the fact that they can sometimes get hotter than it actually is outdoors.
Whenever you can, take advantage of the outdoors. Set up a shaded area in your garden or on your balcony with an umbrella, or sit under a tree while you work or relax.
Spending time outdoors can provide a refreshing break from the heat and reduce your reliance on cooling appliances. Here at Woodgate, we’ve brought the outdoors in at our development, designing places for outside recreation, close to forests and hiking trails. The various areas of Woodgate are all closely connected to paths and cycle routes so you can take advantage of the green spaces around you in summer!
If you do need to spend time indoors, then try to keep most of your activity in a single room and focus your cooling efforts on that area.
8. Unplug devices
Even when not in use, plugged-in devices consume standby power. Unplug infrequently-used devices or use power strips that allow you to easily switch off multiple devices at once.
Remember to unplug chargers and other electronics that are not actively charging to save energy, too!
9. Switch to LED
If you haven’t already swapped out your older lightbulbs for new, energy-efficient LEDs, it’s worth doing so this summer. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that switching to LEDs from 100-watt incandescent bulbs can save you up to £15 per bulb every year.
Because of their undeniable energy-saving properties, every Woodgate home is lit with low-energy LED lighting as standard.
10. Opt for an Economy energy tariff
We can’t talk about saving energy in summer without considering energy tariffs. Economy/off-peak tariffs offer lower rates during off-peak hours, typically during the night or early morning.
To take advantage of these lower rates, do energy-intensive tasks like using the dishwasher or running the washing machine within these hours.
Compare The Market offers a helpful rundown of some off-peak tariff examples!
An energy-efficient home at Woodgate
We hope these tips help you save energy and keep your home cool at the same time in the summer months.
If you’re thinking of making the move to a more sustainable, energy-efficient home, then you can find out more about Woodgate’s green commitments here. All Woodgate homes come equipped with high-efficiency boilers and showers, water-saving taps, wifi-enabled thermostats, smart meters, and more.
Discover our available new builds at Pease Pottage in West Sussex!