Have you noticed your energy bills have jumped since the weather turned? The more we use heating and lighting in the home, due to the cold and dark winter days, the higher the cost of utilities. Here are our top tips for lowering your energy bills this season.
Upgrade your insulation
Brand-new homes benefit from high-energy efficiency standards which most older homes were not built to meet. Check your home’s ceiling and floor insulation or hire a professional to come and have a look for you. If the thermal materials installed in these spaces are old or missing, upgrade wherever possible — especially in the roof where 25-35 per cent of your home’s heat escapes.
Find and seal gaps
Almost ten times more heat escapes through gaps in windows and door frames than walls so make sure yours are up to scratch. Use caulk to fill gaps where your windows meet the window frame and refit sliding doors with new door seals if yours are getting thin. If you have a plastic cat flap or dog door, install a cover over it so you don’t lose heat that way.
Use what you already have
First off, use clothes, blankets and wheat packs or hot water bottles to warm up before cranking the heat up. Did you know you lose heat through your head and feet first? Wear a beanie and fluffy bed socks, and buy yourself some nice slippers.
Keep your showers short
It can be tempting to stand in the shower longer than necessary in winter but you’ll end up wasting both water and the energy used to heat it. Stick to the recommended 3 minutes and look at buying a showerhead with a minimum rating of 3 Green Stars — Bunnings has a great range.
Utilise off-peak times
According to Energy Australia, you’re eligible for off-peak rates if you have a meter configured to ‘Time of Use’, ‘Two rate’, or ‘Dedicated Circuit’. Check out their website to find out more.
Update your lighting
The days get shorter and night time gets darker in winter, so switch to energy-efficient lighting where possible. LED light bulbs use up to 90 per cent less energy than incandescent or halogen bulbs of equivalent brightness – and they also last longer.
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