Autumn is truly underway, the days and nights are getting noticeably colder and winter is almost here. Most of us have already had a few evenings in front of the fireplace or snuggled up with a good movie while the heater was on for the first time in over 6 months.
As nice as summer was, the colder days always seem to come as a little shock and Australians instinctively turn to cranking up the heating. To avoid a big shock when the electricity or gas bill arrives, it’s important to know how to heat your whole house in an energy efficient way, saving you money every day.
How to Heat
Here’s a few handy tips that’ll help you save money on your energy bills, including how to heat and which appliances to use.
Invest in the right aircon upfront
Some air conditioners are more energy efficient than others. If you want to save money in the long run, you should go for a reverse-cycle split system air conditioner, and pay close attention to energy star ratings. They might cost a bit more, but the investment will be worth it in the long-term!
Use the right settings
Are you at work most of the weekdays? You don’t want to have any heaters running during that time. No need to pay money to heat an empty house. Depending on your heating method, you can program your appliance so it only comes on half an hour before you get up, and automatically turns off by the time you leave the house. You can also set the temperature to a lower degree, 21 degrees celsius are generally perfectly fine to feel comfortable in a house.
Get a Portable Heater
If you find yourself only using some of your rooms during the week (e.g. you’re usually in the living room after work and then go to sleep in your bedroom), it can make a big difference to invest in a portable heater. This allows you to move it to whichever room you need to heat at the time, rather than heating your whole house.
Use a heated throw instead of the aircon
Most people find an electric blanket is more than enough for the bedroom as they sleep better in a colder climate that doesn’t dry out their sinuses. But that’s not the only way to use them – a heated throw is also great for lounging in front of the TV. It will use less energy than an air conditioner or heater because it heats through built-in wires, and once heated the warmth is trapped under it, so you usually only need to heat it for 10-30 minutes to get warm!
No matter how well insulated your home is or if you recently installed triple glazed windows, if your home is draughty, you will have problems keeping the heat inside, essentially paying to heat the outdoors too.
Did you know you can save up to 25% of your energy bills by ensuring no hot air can leak out through gaps or cracks in your house? Taking these few steps is a very cost-effective and easy way to heat your home more efficiently:
Seal Gaps & Cracks
Check around doors and windows for any draughts coming through. A candle flame can make it easier to notice smaller cracks – but make sure to keep it far away from anything flammable like curtains or window decoration. After you found cracks, fill them with either caulk (for smaller cracks) or expanding foam (for bigger gaps).
Most doors, especially in older houses, have a large gap between floor and the base of the door. Avoid hot air leaking out and cold air creeping in by either attaching a bristle strip or a commonly used fabric roll (we like to call them “fabric sausage” and recently found one in the shape of a sausage dog – perfect for the kid’s room!).
If you sealed all cracks and put draught stoppers under all doors and yet it still feels quite chilly in your home, you might want to invest in some heavy curtains. Floor-length curtains that touch the walls on either side of the window are ideal to prevent hot air from escaping through single glazed windows. Just make sure you remember to open these windows every now and then to prevent mould from growing.