Summer energy-saving tips: How to keep your cool when it’s hot
By: Alex Manson-Smith
09 Jul 2021
1. Close the curtains on hot days
Ever notice how, when you’re on holiday in hot countries, people close their shutters in the afternoon? If you’re out at work, or not using your bedroom during the day, then keeping the blinds or curtains closed will mean the room stays cooler. That way, come nighttime, you won’t have to waste energy on air conditioning or a fan.
2. Forget about your tumble dryer
Tumble dryers – especially older models – are notoriously energy-hungry. You may depend on yours during the winter, but, now that the sun’s out, dry your clothes on the line, or a drying rack outside.
3. Fill your freezer with summery treats
Your freezer will work more efficiently when it’s full. If yours contains a bag of peas and not much else, try filling it with these foods – all of which taste better frozen:
Frozen bananas are an affordable, healthy, delicious summer snack. And they couldn’t be easier to make. Simply peel, slice, and freeze your bananas on parchment paper or a baking tray. Then store them in a sandwich bag, ready to dip in almond butter, add to smoothies, or mash as a healthy alternative to ice-cream.
Like your brownies dense and chewy? Then you’ll love how they taste frozen. When they’re eaten straight from the freezer, brownies taste more like fudge or chocolate truffles. And, of course, they’ll keep longer there, too.
Try frozen grapes as a healthy, refreshing snack on a boiling-hot day.
Too big to eat in one sitting, watermelons are ideal to slice up and keep in the freezer, ready to whip out on sunny afternoons.
We’re slightly cheating here, as bread really doesn’t taste better frozen. But keeping sliced bread in the freezer allows you to toast or defrost only the portions you need, making your loaf last longer. It also means you can stock up, so you’re less likely to run out. And all that bread will quickly fill up your freezer, meaning it works more efficiently.
4. Defrost your fridge and freezer
Remember to regularly defrost your fridge and freezer as the more they ice up, the more energy they’ll use. One family noticed on their smart meter that their energy costs were edging up and up, even though they were doing nothing differently. They defrosted their freezer and overnight their bills dropped.
5. Use a smart thermostat
The British summer is nothing if not unpredictable: one day it might be 30 degrees, the next you’ll be needing your coat. A smart thermostat will keep your house at just the right temperature – whatever the weather’s doing outside. It will also learn your habits, turning the heating off when you leave for work, and back on when it knows you’re coming home.
You’ll find a great range of smart thermostats at the Shell Energy shop.
6. Take a cold shower
Yes, it’ll cool you down on a hot day. But fans, such as Dutch extreme athlete Wim Hof, claim that cold showers have other benefits, too. They’re thought to:
• Reduce stress levels
• Make you more alert
• Strengthen your immune system
• Help you lose weight
They’ll also reduce your energy bills. Not ready for a cold shower? The trick is to start your shower hot, turning it cold for only the last 30 seconds. You’ll soon find you can tolerate the cold for longer, until one day you’re ready to get straight into a cold shower. After that, ice baths beckon...
7. Swap traditional or halogen light bulbs for LEDs
LED light bulbs last longer, give off more light, and use less electricity than traditional or halogen bulbs. And since they don’t give off heat, they’ll help your home stay cooler on sunny days.
Still not convinced? Switching to LED light bulbs will cut around 65kg* from your annual carbon-dioxide emissions, and lower your energy bills by some £40* a year.
If you’re worried that LED bulbs give off too stark a light, look for ‘warm white’ or ‘soft white’ bulbs, which have a cosier effect.
Ready to replace your old light bulbs? You’ll find the latest LED lighting at the Shell Energy shop.
8. Replace your boiler
We know – your central heating is about the last thing you’re thinking about on a hot summer’s day. But if you’ve got an old and inefficient boiler that you know needs replacing, then summer is the right time to do it.
What’s more - we’ve partnered with HomeServe to offer you a convenient boiler replacement service whenever you need it. Visit our dedicated page to find out more
You’re more likely to find available heating engineers during the summer months, which could save you a long wait just when you need your central heating most. And since they’re not as busy, you may find the engineers drop their prices.
In any case, doing the legwork now will give you more time to research the right options and get a better deal. It could be worth it: replacing your old boiler with an A-rated model could save you £200* a year on your energy bills.
9. Switch to Shell Energy
Summer can be a great time to switch energy supplier, ready for the more expensive winter months.
The good news is that switching is easy – once you’ve got a quote and made the decision to move, we’ll do the rest.
*Figures from the Energy Saving Trust