Better yet, these tips can help reduce your energy bills and make your space feel cozy and comfy – the way it’s meant to be during the colder months. Here’s our thorough, but necessary, list to get you and your home ready for what’s to come.
Use warmth wisely
We know it’s easy to crank up the heating when it’s chilly outside (and inside), but there are other ways to warm up. Think about layering up instead of sitting in a t-shirt and blasting the heating. Bust out the warmer clothing, including thick socks.
While the sun is out, let all that natural sunshine and warmth into your living space. But make sure you trap it in for as long as you can and close the curtains before it starts getting dark and cold.
Also think about which areas of your place you need to warm up. Do you spend most of your time sitting on the couch, binge watching your favourite TV shows? Next time, invite the whole family to join you – saving on heating in all rooms of your home.
Think big and small appliances
Even the smallest changes to your habits can make a difference to your energy usage. Implementing the basics of turning appliances off at the wall when they’re not in use shouldn’t be overlooked. Leaving appliances on standby can account for more than 10% of your household electricity use.
It can get a little difficult when it comes to washing your clothes. The weather might not be as nice all day long to be able to hang them on the line and let the wind and heat do their thing. However, try to utilise the good weather when it presents itself, or change up the time you tend to do the washing. You can also use a clothes rack on your verandah or in the room you’ve already heated if the weather’s not great outside.
Even the water counts
There’s nothing wrong with having a hot shower in the middle of winter (and nothing that feels better), but try and keep them short. You can purchase a waterproof timer and set it to a few minutes shorter than your usual shower and try to beat the clock.
Hot water accounts for a large chunk of your power bill, so avoid the habit of using the shower to get warm and stick to your regular shower routine.
Something to keep in the back of your mind, is that staying in the shower uses up to 20 times as much energy as hopping out under two heat lamps instead. Even an additional few minutes can make a difference to your power bill.
Take the assessment
A home sustainability assessment can identify areas for improvement and savings that you may not have already thought of. In some states and territories you may be eligible for rebates and assistance with home assessments or eligible energy-saving items.
Visit energy.gov.au and fill out some basic information to discover a wide range of programs from the Australian, state and territory governments.
Catch the draught
Draughts can occur where there are gaps letting cold air in or warm air escape, so catch them before they catch you! Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to keep your home warm and comfy as well as save energy and money. In fact, draught-proofing can save up to 25% of your heating bills.
Therefore, it could really pay off to have a look around for gaps around your doors, windows, architraves, along skirting boards, and between floorboards.
If the walls could talk
They would tell you that they could do with some love too. Insulation can make some really dramatic savings in heating costs. Up to 50% of the energy we use to heat our homes in winter can simply leak out through ceilings, walls and floors.
With this in mind, there are options to assist in trapping in the heat. There are many types of insulation available with their suitability depending on where you live, the type of roof you have, and whether you need to keep winter heat in or summer heat out (or both).
It's important to have insulation installed safely and in accordance to Australian standards. In this case, it’s worth using someone with expert knowledge. This might not be a great DIY weekend project but definitely worth the investment considering you could save on electricity costs year round, time and time again.
Let there be light!
If you don’t fancy living in the dark, consider switching to energy-efficient lighting. Most homes could halve the amount of energy used for lighting by using more efficient technologies.
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are better value for money than incandescent and halogen light bulbs and can be used in the majority of existing fittings. LEDs use on average, 75% less energy than halogen light bulbs, and last 5-10 times longer.
These benefits greatly reduce the higher replacement costs and the number of light bulbs destined for landfill. The up-front cost of LEDs generally has a payback time of less than 1 year.
Go through and make time to ensure your house is winter ready before the cold creeps in. Not only will it mean a comfortable winter, but also an energy efficient and less expensive season.
If you have any other energy savings tips that you’ve implemented for the winter (or any season for that matter), why not share them with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.