The $187 mistake you’ll make today
MOST of the country will swelter through an absolutely scorcher today - and chances are, many of us will make one big mistake as a result.
According to brand new research from comparison site finder.com.au, a concerning number of Australians are guilty of bad aircon habits - despite the rising concern surrounding expensive energy bills.
The survey revealed nearly one-quarter of the population - 2.3 million households, or 24 per cent of us - leave the cooling on when nobody is home to enjoy it.
And not only is it bad for the environment, the practice is also terrible for our bank balances, costing a collective $222 million every year.
And not only are we leaving the aircon blasting all day in empty houses, we're also setting it to a chilly 22C, which is far cooler than the optimal aircon temperature of 25C.
That 3C difference could be increasing bills by 30 per cent - but the good news is, a simple change in temperature settings could save you $187 each summer.
Finder.com.au energy expert Graham Cooke urged Aussies to reconsider their power usage.
"As the weather starts to warm up, more of us will be turning to our aircon to get some reprieve, but it's easy to forget about the expensive cost of keeping cool, especially on a 35C day," he said.
"If cost is a concern, make sure you're not over-relying on your aircon.
"Cooling is a luxury that some Aussies just can't afford anymore. If you struggle with paying electricity bills, either adjust your habits or consider switching to an energy plan with cheaper rates."
Mr Cooke said the bad habit had formed as we have now grown accustomed to the luxury of airconditioning.
"These days it's the norm to expect aircon, with environmental and financial concerns often dismissed," he said.
"Whether it's in your home, car, or while you're out shopping, we've come to expect a cool environment.
"Many of us will pump the aircon to the point where you're reaching for a cardigan - but setting the thermostat at a slightly higher temperature can save you a lot in the long run."
The advice is all the more relevant today, as the country wakes up to the first heatwave of the season.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the mercury will peak at 37C in both Sydney and Melbourne today, with a high of 33C in store for Canberra, and 30C in Melbourne.
Brisbane will reach 28C, while Adelaide and Hobart will enjoy a maximum of 25C and Perth will hit a high of 24C.
Authorities have warned NSW residents in particular to stay hydrated and keep an eye on the elderly and the young in the extreme heat.
Meanwhile, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has also warned that the high temperatures and winds much of the state will experience today could combine to create ideal conditions for fires.