Although the majority of Australians live in a warm to hot climate, winters and winter heating bills can still be harsh. Because we are creatures of comfort, as soon as the temperature dips, thermostats are pushed up and heaters are switched to maximum! While heating systems can contribute to high energy usage, and a large winter heating bill, there are a number of other energy-sucking culprits lurking in your home.
Drafts can be a real problem during the winter months, as they leak out warm air, forcing you to turn up your heater to compensate, adding dollars to your energy bill.
Typically, door and window surrounds, pipes, vents and gaps and cracks are problem areas, but unless the draft is obvious, they can be difficult to pinpoint. One of the easiest and most accurate methods of locating heat leaks is to have a home energy audit done by your energy provider. Once complete, you are given a report outlining where heat loss is occurring and how it should be overcome. Then it’s a simple matter of handing over the report to a professional to deal with.
Check your curtains
Did you know windows can account for a significant part of your heating bill? However, this can be easily corrected by hanging the right type of curtains. For the winter months, curtains should be floor length and made from thicker fabric.
Also, open your curtains on sunny days so your rooms can warm up and close them a little before the sun goes down to trap the warm air inside. If you regularly arrive home after dark, consider installing a timing device. A timing device ensures your curtains open and close when you want them to, even when you’re not at home.
Install wall and roof insulation
Insulating your home is one of the most effective ways to cut your winter heating costs. According to All Star Energy Ratings it can reduce your winter energy usage by up to 55%. Also, proper insulation practically eliminates condensation on walls and ceilings, and in some cases can be used as soundproofing.
Don’t forget your outdoor living space either. Modern outdoor living spaces are often used year round for entertaining and relaxing, so warmth during the cooler months is important. Shademaster has a range of insulated roofing panels that have superior insulation properties, so your outdoor room will be as comfortable in winter as it is in summer.
And with a choice of 84 colours, the roofing panels will seamlessly blend in with your existing Colourbond roofing.
Invest in solar panels
Installing solar panels can also contribute greatly to warming your home and reducing your winter heating costs. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source which is much better for the environment than traditional heating methods. Changing your regular windows to energy efficient alternatives is another option – they might be expensive to install initially, but they may save you money on heating bills in the long run.
Finally, remember that simple things such as switching appliances off at the wall when they are not in use, turning lights off, and putting on an extra layer of clothing rather than turning your thermostat up, also help to keep your winter electricity bills down.