It’s getting cold outside! You know what that means. It’s time to rug up, get cozy and try to stay warm. Needless to say, most Aussies don’t fare too well in the cold, so we often spend a lot of money to keep warm. But, excessive home heating may make you gulp when the power bill comes.
At EE Windows, we’re passionate about energy efficiency and saving you money in the long run. Home heating energy costs can sneak up on you and accumulate over the year. Winter is an energy chewer as Australians try to acclimatise to the unfamiliar feeling of being cold. Below are our do’s and don’ts of keeping warm in winter.
GET SOME ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS
Bad windows are particularly guilty of leaking hot air during winter. Energy-efficient windows are a great way to improve your thermal efficiency without launching a full insulation operation. It can be a much faster fix to get done before the cold season than re-doing your wall, ceiling or floor insulation. Double glazed, timber or uPVC windows and doors are fantastic ways to keep your electricity bill down during winter because they provide insulation levels that other windows simply cannot. These windows have value all year round, keeping cool air in during summer and out in winter.
ACCESSORISE YOUR NEW WINDOWS WITH CURTAINS
Without energy-efficient windows, around 40% of your home’s heat can be lost through windows. Double or triple-pane windows significantly reduce how much heat escapes through your window. If you want to improve that yet again, seal the heat into your home with curtains. These simple window fittings help regulate internal temperatures. Pulling the drapes closed creates another barrier to keep heat in. Just note that keeping your curtains shut all day can make your home colder. You’ll want to open your windows when the sun is bright and close them when natural daylight is limited.
SEEK DRAFTS EARLY
Those first cool breezes of autumn are the perfect time to go on a draft hunt. Track down any drafts in your home and seal them up. A trip to the hardware shop can equip you with most of the tools you need to tackle the job. Just do your homework first, or hire a handyperson. Some simple to apply items that can make a huge difference are:
- Draft snakes
- PVC door strips
- Door seals
DRESS FOR THE SEASON
We understand that Aussies are used to strolling around in footy shorts and singlets. You may be inclined to heat your home to continue wearing the clothes that make you comfortable. But, dressing warmer means you waste less money on home heating. Each additional degree of heating can add between 5% and 10% onto your energy bill. So think smart before playing with the heater controls too much.
HEAT THE ROOMS THAT YOU’RE USING
Sometimes you just need to heat your home, especially the further south or inland you are. Thermostats aren’t commonplace in many Australian homes, so when it comes to heating the entire house, we’re often limited for choice. The best option is to figure out which room you will be in for most of the day and focus on heating that. Working your heater too hard may cost you more than you expect when you bump it up a few degrees in a futile effort to warm your entire house.
SAVE BANK WITH A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
You can save money by having a programmable thermostat. An energy-saving rule of thumb is setting the thermostat between 18°C and 20°C. Every degree past that adds a considerable sum of money to your next power bill. A good thermostat allows you to set timers and even control it via a mobile app when you’re not home. This makes it much easier to turn it off when you’re not at home or when you’re ready for bed.
We’re all guilty of having long showers during the colder months. Going from a relaxing shower to the chilling outside air is the most dreaded part of many Australians’ morning routine. Hot water accounts for about 25% of the average Australian bill. It’s more energy effective to have a heat lamp or heat lightbulb in your bathroom to keep you warm once you get out of the shower. This way, you can rug up before stepping out of the heat. A heat lamp uses 20% less energy than a hot shower.
GAS HEATER EMISSIONS CAN BE DANGEROUS
Gas heaters create carbon monoxide as a byproduct of heat. Because of this, indoor gas heaters are not recommended for small rooms. If you’re thinking about installing an indoor gas heater, make sure your room measurements match the proposed requirements.
It’s safest if you never use an outdoor gas heater inside. If you have a gas stove, don’t leave it running for a long time to heat your house. Both of these systems give off a lot of carbon monoxide, which is dangerous when inhaled.
DON’T LIGHT THINGS ON FIRE
It seems like common sense, but hundreds of Australians have suffered from house fires because of seemingly small mistakes. We’re sure you won’t go make a living room bonfire, but think twice before you light up your candle collection for extra warmth. If you have any outdoor fire features like burners or tiki poles, ensure they remain outside.
DON’T PLUG YOUR HEATER INTO A POWER BOARD
Electric heaters must be plugged directly into the wall. Extension cords and power strips may not be able to handle the wattage. This makes them a potential fire risk if they overheat the extension device.
DON’T HEAT YOUR HOME WHEN YOU’RE NOT THERE
When you’re producing heat, you’re producing a lot of energy. It’s important you’re home to spot if anything goes wrong. If you decide to go to the shops for a bit, turn your home heating system off to eliminate all risk.
Leaving the heat off when you’re not using it is also a great way to save money without any inconvenience.
DON’T PUT ANYTHING IN FRONT OF THE HEATER
Fire & Rescue NSW recommended the ‘leave a metre rule’ to avoid potential fire risks. Ensure the space around your heater is clear of curtains, bedding and clothing. This means you shouldn’t use the heater to dry or warm up your laundry. If you’re drying clothes nearby, ensure the drying rack is a metre away.
At EE Windows, all of our products are designed to provide maximum insulation and thermal efficiency as well as being eco-friendly. If you want to make some long term adjustments to your home that reduce your electricity bill all year round and regulate the temperature of your home, then get in touch with us today!