9 Hot Energy Saving Tips for Expats Moving to a Hot Climate

This post answers the following questions

1) What will cause appliances to exert more effort and be less efficient?
2) How replacing all your bulbs help in saving up energy consumption?
3) What is the alternative of air conditioner during summer?
4) Why does cooling the home increase your electricity bill?
5) What to do with a hot climate?

In hot countries cooling the home can account for half the electricity consumption of the whole house. The comfort of air conditioning is something you can’t live without; though it comes with a hefty price. Even on holiday hotels and apartments often charge a premium additional rate to allow you to turn up your AC. Let’s be honest though; there is nothing better than stepping in to 20 degrees from 40 degrees outside.

Here are a few simple steps to lower down your bills. It can be a real shock to the pocket as an expat if you don’t prepare for the hot weather expenses. After all we from cooler climates are normally used to lower expenses on temperature control in the summer.

Check Furnace Ducts

Checking furnace ducts in your home will allow you to see if their vents are being obstructed. Obstructed vents will cause appliances to exert more effort and be less efficient. This translates to more energy consumption and a higher bill.  The simplest obstructions to look for are furniture and curtains but you might like an expert to check the vents themselves. Cleaning them will lead to better air flow.

Replace Bulbs

Replace all your bulbs and practice energy efficient lighting. Investing in fluorescent bulbs will be well worth it in the long run. These bulbs tend to last longer and save up to 75% of the energy consumption as compared to regular incandescent bulbs. Watch out for supermarkets and stores doing eco-friendly drives with reduced price bulbs. A few years ago Sainsburys were selling bulbs for 10p each. Needless to say I will not be buying them again for a long time.

Unplug Appliances When Not In Use

Obviously appliances left plugged in consume electricity even when not actively in use. This is especially true for TVs. Their consumption may be minimal but will make a difference to your energy consumption.

Clean Out the Refrigerator

Regularly clean out your refrigerator of unnecessary foodstuff that need not be cooled. Also clean the coils in the back. Dust and dirt accumulating in it will cause the compressor to work harder. Just make sure you turn it off if you are playing round the back.

Air Dry Dishes

Turning off the heating mechanism of dishwashers significantly lowers its electric consumption. It will also make your home cooler during the summer.

Minimise Use of Air Conditioning

Install ceiling fans to alternate with air conditioning units during summer. Fans consume significantly less energy compared to regular air conditioning units and will often be enough to make the home environment pleasant.

Check Doors and Windows

Door seals and windows need to be constantly checked for leaks that may add to your consumption. Replace worn out weather-stripping around exterior doors to maximise the efficiency of your air conditioning units. Leakage cause increased expense in hot climates just as it does in cold.

Check Efficiency Of Air Conditioners

Before the start of the hotter months check each and every air conditioning unit and have them cleaned by professionals if necessary. Don’t be caught out when you really need them. Apart from the discomfort of broken units and the increased expense from the inefficiency of others, you will open your self up to “ooo that is serious; we re going to have to replace this and that; it ain’t going to be cheap” from the repairing engineer.

Dry Laundry Outside

Setting up a backyard clothesline will lessen the work of your home appliances. Not only will it save you electricity; it can also prolong the life of your washer dryers. If putting them outside to dry is not an option, hang them properly inside on a drying rack near heaters.

There are many other ways to minimise electric consumption during the summer months when people tend to consume more electricity in hot climates. By following the simple tips listed above, you’re sure to have much lower electricity bills. More money in your pocked will mean more time by the pool, at the beach, or on the golf course; whatever your pleasure may be. Anyone expats out there got tips for those moving to hot climates?

Image: Lee J Haywood

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Phil Turner moved to Ireland because England was too hot. He has to struggle enough to understand his current bills but finds this site useful (http://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/guides/energy-bills/)

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