Carlene’s tips for eco-friendly homes
Former The Block contestant, Carlene Duffy, shares home heating tips that won’t blow out your budget and will help protect our planet.
There are two things we know for sure: the cost of electricity is on the rise and so too is our carbon emissions output. However, there are a few things you can do in your home that can make a huge difference to your quarterly power bill and long term, to our planet. If you are in the process of building or renovating, there are many things you can implement in the design process to ensure your home is functioning at its eco-friendly best. We are mid renovation and while we are installing ducted air conditioning for those increasingly and insufferably hot summer days and bitterly cold winter mornings, we have also gone to great lengths to ensure we will need it only sparingly.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
Spend the extra money now and insulate your walls and ceiling
with good quality insulation that has a high R value. Only
those who live in uninsulated homes can truly tell you the
difference this will make to your heating and cooling situation.
Utilising thermal mass
We have polished concrete floors in our home, which paired with the correct combination of windows, insulation and shading, stores heat from the sun and releases it effectively, moderating internal temperatures by cooling the house when it’s hot and heating the house when it’s cold.
Devise a considered door and window design We’ve included strategically-placed louvres to ensure effective natural air flow and cross ventilation. This, combined with ceiling fans, will see us through most of the year, as ceiling fans consume a fraction of the power consumed by air conditioners.
We had solar panels installed a few years back but recently we also installed a deep cycle battery, which stores the sun’s energy for use when the sun goes down. If you have solar panels, ensure they are clean and use your power-hungry appliances during the day so that you’re using clean
energy straight from the sun.
Switch off and switch out
Whether or not you are in the process of building, we could all look to reduce our carbon footprint with some small changes.
- Switch off extra refrigerators and freezers that aren’t in use in the home.
- Replace your halogen light globes with LED globes. You’ll achieve the same brightness for a fraction of the energy.
- Swap warm washing machine washes for cold washes. It’s not only considerably gentler on our clothes, but also on the environment.