WINTER is just around the corner and home heating to keep warm during the cooler months shouldn’t cost a fortune.
Here are a few clever home heating tips from consumer advocacy group CHOICE to keep you warm this winter while saving money.
Home heating tip #1: insulation
Insulation is essential for keeping your home warm in winter.
According to Choice, 25–35 per cent of the warmth in an uninsulated house is lost through the roof during winter. So to keep the heat in, ensure your ceiling is insulated.
Insulating floors and walls will also help reduce your electricity bills. If you spend money on heating and air conditioning during the winter months, insulating your home will make it as cost-effective as possible.
CHOICE’s home heating expert Chris Barnes says, “Average households that install wall, floor and ceiling insulation can save hundreds of dollars on energy costs each year.”
If you haven’t got insulation in your home it’s never too late to have it installed.
“Insulation is best installed when building or renovating but can be retrofitted to an existing home. This is best done by professionals,” Chris says.
Not only will insulation keep your house warm in winter, but it will also keep it cool in summer making it a worthwhile investment.
2. Home heating tip #2: window furnishings
Curtains, blinds and shutters go a long way towards sealing heat into your home.
According to CHOICE, up to 40 per cent of heating energy can be lost through windows.
Pulling curtains closed before turning on the home heating will help keep the warmth in. As hot air rises, adding a pelmet to the top of your windows will help the warm air from escaping.
3. Home heating tip #3: seal up
Sealing up any draughts around doors and windows will help keep the warmth in and your heating costs down.
Sorting out draughts and gaps in your home can be done with a bit of simple DYI.
Cover any gaps in your floorboards with rugs, use door snakes and weather seal tape or draught strips to fill gaps.
Weather seal tape or draught strips are good if you’re not confident with DYI or are renting. A bit like sticky tape but made from foam or rubber, they have an adhesive backing
If you’re renting or you’re not confident in your DIY abilities, weather seal tape or draught strips are a good place to start. They look a bit like sticky tape but are made from foam or rubber and are easily installed by removing the adhesive backing and sticking the sticky side inside the doorjamb or window frame.
4. Home heating tip #4: appliances
What home heating appliances do you use?
CHOICE says reverse cycle air conditioners are more efficient and cost-effective, keeping in mind it can cost between $113 for a small unit to $335 for a large unit to heat your home (based on estimated use of 500 hours at 30c/kWh).
Chris Barnes says for optimal warmth, try to stick to a difference of about 8°C between the outside temperature and the temperature of your air conditioner.
“Each degree warmer usually adds about 10 per cent to the running cost of your air conditioner.”
Regularly maintenance and cleaning of your air conditioning unit will also result in better energy efficiency and lower running costs. Have your unit serviced annually to clean dust and dirt from the filters.
Hot air rises so to maximise the effectiveness of your air conditioning heating, switch your ceiling fans on reverse (to make the blades turn anti-clockwise) to push the warm air down.