15 tips to keep your home cool this summer
There are some simple steps you can take to ensure your home stays cool and helps crack down on hefty utility bills.
Dubai - Make sure your air conditioning units are well maintained and clean
Whether you are jetting off for the summer or staying put, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your home stays cool and helps crack down on hefty utility bills. Here are 15 tips for cutting down your utility bills by running a more sustainable home.
1. Electronic devices still draw energy when they are plugged in but not in use. Get into the habit of unplugging anything that's not needed.
2. Fit LED lights instead of traditional bulbs where possible as they use less energy and last longer than conventional bulbs. They also produce less heat.
3. Make sure your air conditioning units are well maintained and clean or replace the filters monthly so they run as efficiently as possible.
4. Make sure your air conditioning unit is set to 'auto' rather than the 'on' mode as this will regulate the room temperature more effectively. Plus, don't crank it down any lower than needed - each degree can represent the equivalent of a nine per cent savings on cooling costs.
5. Around 90 per cent of a washing machine's energy is used to heat the water, so washing your clothes at 30-40°C will help keep your electricity bill in check. Also, don't press 'go' until you have a full load.
6. Install aerators on your water taps - this is a clever way to reduce water consumption by forcing air into the water flow, without disrupting water pressure.
7. Toilets can account for almost 30 per cent of all indoor water use, so fit a dual flush button to save on water waste. Also bear in mind that older toilets - those installed before 1994 - tend to use much more water per flush. So, installing a newer model can save the typical household up to 21,700 gallons (82,135 litres) of water per year. Check toilets regularly for leaks and repair them promptly.
8. Take a quick shower rather than a bath and you'll save an average of 20 gallons (76 litres) of water. In addition, fitting a water-efficient showerhead will earn you even more green stars. As a quick test, if it takes less than 20 seconds to fill a one-gallon (around 3.78 litre) bucket from the showerhead, then it could benefit from being replaced.
9. Draw the curtains in empty rooms to help reduce the heat radiation through your windows and will keep your home cooler.
10. Apply a sealant or weatherproofing device around all doors and windows to keep the chilled air inside your house.
11. Shade the exterior of your house where possible to reduce heat radiation and cool the air before it reaches the walls and windows of your home. Triangular sunshades are easy to find and install and are affordable too.
12. Water your lawn before 8am or after 6pm in several short sessions rather than one long one as this way the moisture is more easily absorbed.
13. Consider swapping your turf lawn for artificial grass, which is an effective way to cut down on water consumption and avoid the risk of a browning lawn during the summer.
14. Cover your pool to reduce water evaporation. An average-sized pool left uncovered can lose 1,000 gallons (3,785 litres) of water per month.
15. It may be a long way off, but the Dubai government is aiming to have solar panels installed on the roofs of all buildings by 2030. If you own your villa, you can submit an application with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority to install photovoltaic panels to generate solar power for your personal consumption, which, in turn, will reduce your energy bills. Each application takes around four weeks for approval.
The writer is COO at Hitches & Glitches. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policies.