Winter can be a welcome break for many Australians after our long, hot summers. During the months of June, July and August we usually see a significant drop in temperatures, increased rainfall and in some cases storms. While these conditions make it tempting to crank up the central heating, it is important to remember that there are methods of keeping your house warm and well lit, without incurring an enormous heating and electrical bill.
Here, we take a look at some energy saving tips for winter to ensure that you keep your bills and greenhouse gas emissions low.
Saving on Hot Water
Research indicates that Australians spend 25 percent of their energy bills on heating water. This is a worrying figure, as it is an excessive amount to be spending on heating, and also because it is extremely damaging to the environment due to greenhouse gas emissions.
Choosing the correct water heater can lead to savings on your bill and also a reduction in gas emissions.
- It is now widely recommended that old, electrical water heating systems are replaced with gas or solar.
- Choosing instantaneous units mean that the water is not losing heat,as it would while sitting in a storage heating system.
- Instantaneous units will not run out of water, while storage heaters might.
- It is also important to decide on the size of the system necessary for your living arrangements. If you are living alone or are in a small family, a large system will lead to unnecessary expense.
- When using the bathroom try and keep showers short and, remember to turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
- Rated shower heads can lead to incredible savings on energy. A three star rated head is recommended for optimum savings.
Heavy Curtains and Blinds for Insulation
Statistics show that over 40 percent of heat loss during winter is due to heat escaping from uncovered windows. The use of long, heavy curtains, or insulating window blinds are proven to help prevent such heat loss. A combination of both curtains and insulating window blinds is an excellent method of saving on your energy bills this winter.
Savings in Lighting
There are simple tips for saving on lighting. While many would be deemed as common sense, there are still a vast amount of homes and businesses that fail to switch lighting off when at home or at work.
- By installing motion sensors on security lights, the responsibility for switching off lights is taken out of your hands.
- Again, solar energy is an extremely efficient method of lighting outdoor areas. The panels store and conserve energy during the day, and automatically emit this energy by night to light your home.
- Take advantage of energy savings of up to 80% by using L.E.D. or fluorescent lights in your home.
Close Off Unused Rooms and Let Sunshine in when Possible
Another basic but extremely effective tip is to allow sunshine in during the day to help heat your rooms naturally. By opening windows of north facing rooms when the sun is shining outside, you can help to increase the warmth of your home without spending excessive amounts on heating bills.
If your heating system has a timer installed, you can have control of when your home is heated, and for how long. By managing the time that your heating is on, and by limiting the heat to unused rooms, you will notice significant savings.
Maintain your Heaters
Different heating systems suit different living environments.
- In large rooms that contain high ceilings, convective and radiant systems combined are the most cost effective method of heating.
- Smaller rooms benefit from a convective system.
- For bathrooms, a radiant system is proven to be the best method of heating.
- The importance of heater maintenance should never be underestimated.
- Servicing once every two years will ensure that your heating system is running effectively and efficiently.
- Ensuring that heaters are free from dust is also beneficial.
Take Advantage of Energy Concessions in Winter
While we have discussed some winter energy saving tips through being more aware and responsible with regard to light and heat, the greatest savings come in the form of government concessions. Statistics indicate that the rebate for 2014/2015 stands at $338.21. The rebate is calculated on a daily basis and covers both gas and electricity. The concession covers primary residence only, and the account must be in the cardholder’s name. To find out more about this excellent saving, contact your energy provider.