You might think that creating an energy efficient home sounds like a huge task. While this can be true in some cases, there are plenty of simple steps you can take that will offer big home energy savings.
Here are some useful tips that will help to increase the energy efficiency of your home.
1. Be Mindful of your Windows
Windows are great for filling our rooms with natural light and affording us an outdoor view. However, the quality of your windows could be the difference between high and low energy use.
Throughout the hotter months, your windows can be a huge source of unwelcome indoor heat gain. They can also be the cause of significant heat loss over the colder season. According to the Window Energy Rating Scheme, poor window quality can cost you a 40% loss of your home’s heating energy over winter and about an 87% gain of heat over summer.
To prevent this energy wastage, install double glazing or films on your windows. You can also increase your home energy efficiency by simply installing shutters or blinds to block out the sun. Likewise, opt to line your windows with air sealing weather strips to minimise heat loss during winter.
2. Switch Off Appliances
Another easy way to save energy is by turning your appliances off at the powerpoint, not just at the off button. The electrical appliances in your home add up to about 40% of your total home energy use. Even if you think an appliance is off, it could still be using electricity.
A good rule of thumb to follow is if you don’t need the appliance to be turned on at the powerpoint, then turn it off at powerpoint. Sounds simple, but some people definitely need reminding! Follow this easy step and you could save up to 10% on your next energy bill.
3. Harness the Power of the Sun
Here in Australia we’re lucky enough to experience the shining sun all year round. You can improve the energy efficiency of your home by taking advantage of the sun’s power with solar panels. We won’t lie, installing solar panels is not a cheap venture. However, it will offer fantastic long term energy savings!
Introducing renewable energy systems, such as solar power, to your home can drastically lower your total energy costs. Especially if you live in a particularly sunny Australian climate, you’ll receive impressive long term savings on electricity and reduce your personal carbon footprint.
4. Be Smart with Heating and Cooling Systems
Our air cons are our greatest weapon when it comes to battling off the intense Australian summer heat. Likewise when it gets cold, our heating systems become our very best friend.
It’s important to be tactical with your heating and cooling system usage. Depending on the climate you live in, your heating and cooling systems can make up about 20 – 50% of the total energy used in your Australian home. You can save yourself around 10% on running costs by opting for HVAC systems with a high energy star rating.
You can also help out your air conditioner by shutting doors and windows, and keeping blinds closed. Also avoid setting your AC to ridiculously cold temperatures in summer. As a guide, your thermostat should be set somewhere between 22-24°C. Remember that every degree you go without can save you up to 10% on your home energy cost.
5. Invest in Home Insulation
Installing insulation in your home is a great way to lend your heating and cooling systems a helping hand. Insulation acts as a shield for your home, protecting the desired climate inside and preventing the outside elements from entering.
Good insulation and sound house design are essential in providing you with year round home comfort and creating an energy efficient house. With this step, your heating and cooling bills could be reduced by up to 50%.
6. Avoid Bad Habits that Reduce Energy Efficiency
Keep an eye out for the daily bad habits that you do without thinking. Small things like leaving lights on when you’re not in the room or boiling an entire kettle of water for one cup of tea can add up to big costs. Take extra care to be energy conscious around your home and you’ll make a noticeable impact on your energy costs.
7. Keep your Ducts Clean
This is one of those easy energy saving ways that often gets overlooked. Clean air ducts will improve the energy efficiency at home a considerable amount. Duct filters that are obstructed or clogged by dust, dirt and debris will need to use a lot more energy than if they were clean.
To improve the energy efficiency of your air con system, book a professional duct clean with an HVAC technician. They will be able to clear any nasty material out of your ducts to get them breathing healthily once again.
8. Smart Lighting for your Energy Efficient Home
Implementing energy efficiency in houses starts with smart home design. A well designed new home should aim to maximise natural light allowance indoors. This will save energy, as artificial lighting is not needed during the day.
Efficient lighting choices can also mean big savings. Replacing halogen lightbulbs with LED downlights in your home can reduce your lighting energy usage by 75%. LEDs also have twice as long of a lifespan, so the savings really speak for themselves.
9. Update Old Appliances that Eat your Energy
If you’re putting off updating an old home appliance because of the cost, you might want to think again. Did you know that modern dishwashers use 25% less energy than models from 10 years ago? Or that a fridge from 1992 uses about three times as much energy as a recent model?
Major home appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers eat up a lot of energy. How well these appliances are operating can have a significant impact on your energy bills.
When appliance shopping, keep an eye out for the energy rating label on different products. The more stars an appliance has, the more energy efficient. Simple!