A heater can be your best friend during the cooler months, but it doesnât have to mean high electricity bills.
You’re happily wearing tracky dacks, your Ugg boots aren’t leaving your feet, and the heater is cranking – the cold has hit Australia, and getting out of the bed in the morning is that much harder.
It’s not quite Antarctica, but Australia can still get rather chilly. As you try and keep warm and toasty, your energy demand tends to increase and this can have a hefty impact on your electricity bills. We’ve rounded up some handy hints to make sure you can still warm your cockles without compromising on energy efficiency – your wallet will thank you too.
Turning up the heat on energy efficiency
Simple changes to your home and your behaviour may mean you can take it easy on your heater, and save burning through the cash.
- Make sure all of your windows, doors and curtains are closed. This will help to keep the warm air inside and let the cold air know it isn’t welcome. It’s worth having a snoop around for pesky draughts too.
- That jumper your Gran knitted for you in 1985 will now come in handy. An extra layer of clothing means you won’t need to put the heater on so high.
- What level is your heater currently set to? Ideally you should set it to a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius – every degree warmer than this will use ten percent more energy. If your heater doesn’t have a thermostat, consider putting a thermometer in your living room and keep an eye on the temperature that way. If your living room is at a temperature mimicking that of a beach in the Caribbean, you probably have it set too high.
- If you are using an air-conditioner at a high temperature, make sure you get the feather duster out and clean the filters regularly. And make sure you don’t leave it running when you aren’t home. The same goes for heaters – always make sure you turn it off when it’s not in use!
Wearing extra layers will reduce your energy bills. Photo credit: Hook News/Daily Mail UK
Be the shining light – by turning them off
Although lighting only accounts for around 7% of your total energy bill, it can still add up – and with the days being darker, we tend to turn lights on more.
- Replace old incandescent and halogen lights with LED lighting to help with energy efficiency.
- Instead of being a rabbit in a set of headlights and having an entire area lit up, use a lamp where you can.
- If you aren’t using a room, simply turn the light off.
- Choose a light globe with a lower wattage.
Get down in winter: dancing will keep you warm as will an ideal temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.
More hot ideas for the cold
Insulating your home can play a key role in driving energy efficiency.
- Doors play a critical role in retaining the heat in your home. If you do notice a draught, hit up Pinterest for some creative ideas for making a ‘door snake’ or draught stopper.
- Other parts of a house can be draughty too. Check your windows and if they are guilty of letting the cold air in through any cracks, consider insulation strips from a hardware store.
- If you have unused pet doors, seal them up as any gaps within your home contribute to heat loss.
- Uncovered windows account for up to a staggering 40 per cent of heat loss in the winter. Use heavy, lined curtains that fall below the window to keep warmth in.
- Install pelmets on the top of your windows – they sit on top of your curtain rods and prevent cold air from getting in. A cheaper alternative is putting a heavy blanket or towel on top of your curtain rod.
By following these top tips, you can become a DIY extraordinaire to keep your home cosy, while also reducing your energy demand on the planet. It’s a win-win situation.
We are committed to helping Australians reduce their energy consumption including providing the tools to create energy efficient homes and improving commercial energy use through intelligent systems.
You can also find out more tips reading our Home Energy Saving Handbook.