Save energy and money this summer22/06/17
With the recent heatwave confirming that summer is now officially here, we thought we'd share the Le Gallais team's top tips for saving energy and staying cool this summer.
Switch to LED or CFL lighting
If you haven't already, then switching to more modern light bulbs can reduce your energy bills. LEDs and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) not only use less energy, but they can also cut the temperature.
Traditional light bulbs waste 90% of their energy as heat: whilst a few bulbs may seem irrelevant in the greater scheme of things, when the mercury's rising every little helps.
Switch off standby mode
This is another tip that saves money all year round, but in the summer can also help cool your home. Electronic devices can emit a significant amount of heat when left on standby meaning that turning them off at the mains pays twice over.
Check your heating controls
If you've recently moved into a new home or are renting, then make sure you check your heating and hot water controls so that you know how to use them efficiently. Some control panels can be difficult to decipher, so if you're just making acquaintance with your heating and hot water, it's worth getting to know the user manual too. If you don't have one, then most can be found online.
During a warm summer, insulated homes are unlikely to need any space heating, so make sure your heating is set only to heat water during the night, when the cost of electricity is lowest. It also makes sense to lower the thermostat as you probably won't have too many hot baths on warm days. If you have an immersion heater (hot water cylinder) use that for hot water and turn off the boiler altogether; again, fit a time clock so that you only heat the water just before you need it.
Look to the long term
Probably the most important energy saving tip, come summer or winter, is to make sure your home is well insulated. During the summer, insulation plays an important role in keeping the cool air in and the warm air out. The most simple and efficient way to do this in a heatwave is to close all blinds and curtains during the day to keep the sun’s glare out of the room, in the same way that European homes close their shutters during the day in summertime to keep the rooms cool.
Keep your fridge in the shade
This is easiest to do if you're moving into a new home or happen to be redesigning your kitchen but, regardless of circumstance, refrigerators are best kept away from direct sunlight and warmer areas of the room.
The higher the temperature outside the fridge, the more energy it has to use to keep your food cool. Even trying to reduce the number of times you open the fridge door when cooking can help, as every time you open it warm air floods in, making it work that much harder to keep food fresh.
Make the most of natural ventilation
While we tend to rely on fans and air conditioning to keep us cool on warm summer days, it makes sense to turn them off and use the windows at night.
As the evening air cools outside, it's pulled into the home, creating cooling breezes and lowering the temperature - enough to keep you comfortable on all but the hottest nights. In the morning you can keep the cooler air within the room by pulling the windows shut and drawing blinds or curtains. Of course, we always recommend that all windows are shut when you are not at home as burglars may see the opportunity of an open window too good to miss, and it may impact on any insurance claim if you are really unlucky. Thankfully these instances are rare in Jersey.
We hope these tips are useful. Whatever you do this summer, have fun and stay cool!