Today the weather is almost at 40 degrees in Dubai. This can really burn a hole in your pocket if you’re not careful about energy bills. They can hit the roof over the next few months. With summer on the horizon, here are some simple ways to cut down on energy usage and ensure your home is running as efficiently as possible.
Keep your cool
Make sure your air-conditioning units are well maintained by having a pre-summer check-up from a reputable maintenance company. It is important to give your AC system the once-over to ensure air filters are clean, refrigerant levels are topped up and electrical connections are working correctly.
This is a real thing people! AC's accumulate dust over time that block your air vents.
Optimum money saving temperature: Keep your AC at 24 degree Celsius. That is the most cost effective option in the UAE.
Flick the switch
Don’t just switch off your appliances when you aren’t using them, actually switch off the power or unplug them to eliminate standby use.
In addition, 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.
Set the laundry rules
Around 90 per cent of a washing machine’s energy is used to actually heat the water, so washing your clothes at 30-40C will help keep your electricity bill in check.
The best time to do laundry: Do your laundry in the morning or evenings. The period from 12pm to 6pm, is the time slot when electricity is used the most in. This period is known as peak-load hours. Limiting the use of non-essential appliances during peak-load hours means electricity can be provided more efficiently and reliably according to DEWA.
Cut down on water waste
Toilets can account for almost 30 per cent of all indoor water use, so fit a dual flush button to save on wastage. 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.
It can also help to 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.
Bath or a shower?
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 shower head 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 shower head, then it could benefit from being replaced.
Be a creative cook
On very hot days, you can avoid overheating your home by preparing your meals on the stove instead of using the oven. Even better, add some more cold dishes to your culinary repertoire and cut down on cooking altogether. You can also aim to minimise other everyday activities that generate heat, such as using a dishwasher and using devices such as curling irons or hair dryers.
Close the curtains, seal your edges
Drawing the curtains in empty rooms to help reduce the heat radiation through your windows will keep your home cooler and your AC more efficient.
Also, apply a sealant or weatherproofing device around all doors and windows to keep the heat out and the chilled air inside. It can help to 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.
Green-over your garden
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. 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.
Protect the pool
Cover your swimming pool to reduce water evaporation. An average-sized pool left uncovered can lose as much as 1,000 gallons (3,785 litres) of water per month.
Harness solar power
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’re a villa owner, you can submit an application to 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.