How to prepare your home for cooler weather: Autumn energy saving tips
There are many reasons to like autumn in WA - including chocolate eggs, a cooler temperature and the ability to open up your doors and windows. It’s a time in between the hot and cold extremes of summer and winter which can cause seasonal spikes in your energy use.
In WA, autumn generally means cooler days but plenty of sunshine, and some rainy days too as winter gets ready to settle in. It can be a good time to have a look around your home and think about how you can prepare for the colder months ahead and how you could make your home as energy efficient as possible.
Give your home an autumn audit
Autumn could be the perfect time to consider installing extra insulation or window glazing. This can improve heat retention and help keep more of the warm air in and the cool air out, which could help reduce the energy needed to keep your home warm. In summer, these measures can help in reverse, by helping keep the cool air in and the warm air out.
If some of your appliances are in need of an upgrade, this could be the time to invest in more energy efficient options. Check the star-rating of the appliance before you buy it: the higher the number of stars, the higher the energy efficiency. The higher rated option might cost more to buy, but could help you save more energy in the long term.
While you’re looking around your home for ways you could save energy, take a closer look at your lightbulbs. By using LED bulbs instead of incandescent options which use a lot more electricity to light up your spaces.
Bid farewell to summer
If you have a second fridge, autumn could be the right time to empty it, clean it and put it into hibernation until next summer. This way, you won’t be paying for electricity to run a fridge you probably only rarely use in the winter months.
On the same note, if you have a pool, consider reducing the amount of time your pool pump runs. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations; however, most pool pumps don’t need to run as long each day in the cooler months when you’re not using the pool.
Make the most of the warm weather
Autumn marks the start of cooler conditions but there are still plenty of beach and river days left too. When you get home from your outdoor activities on the hotter autumn days, use your ceiling fans instead of your air conditioner to cool down. This could help to keep your overall energy use down.
Warm autumn conditions are also perfect for using the sunshine to dry your clothes outside on a rack or line, rather than switching on your dryer.
Embrace the cooler days
When the cooler autumn weather arrives, consider switching your ceiling fans to 'winter mode'. This is an option on ceiling fans which reverses the spin direction, so that the position of the fan blades pushes warm air downwards. This could help with your heating costs, as your heating system won’t need to work as hard to warm your space.
As it gets colder, keep an eye out for potential heat loss through cracks in your doors and windows. Sealing these with a draught stopper could help your house to stay warmer and help you to save money on your heating costs.
Use your solar energy
Plenty of sunshine in our WA autumn means there’s also plenty of opportunity for solar power production. If you have solar panels, make sure you’re maximising the energy your panels produce and consider if you could shift some of your energy use to the daylight hours.
For example, you might find a ‘delay’ or timer option on your dishwasher or washing machine. If you’re not home during the day, use this to switch the appliance on at the times when your solar panels are generating the most electricity which is usually between 10am and 2pm.
Plan ahead for seasonal changes
When it comes to saving energy, taking small steps now can add up to a big difference across the year – so it’s worth planning ahead. For even more energy-saving ideas and calculators to help you run the figures, try our Energy Tool.