24 Jul Winter Warmers
With Perth in the firm grip of winter we want to share some energy saving tips with you on how you can keep your home comfortable through these colder months, saving both your hip pocket and the environment.
Keeping the heat in: One of the worst energy thieves in a home is leakage so it makes sense to check all of your doors and windows for draft. In the event you don’t have a well performing passive solar home you are probably mechanically heating at least your living areas so make sure you don’t lose that precious heat. Add snakes at the bottom of doors like nanna used to and make sure you have adequate seals on all external doors and windows. The seals can be bought at Bunnings for a song and are easily fixed in place around the frames. Make sure you keep doors to wet areas closed as the ceiling vents will suck and leak warmth.
Provide internal protection for your windows as clear standard glass sucks the heat right out of your home at night and on cold stormy winter days. You can actually feel it if you stand right next to a window. Best protection is a double drape that touches all sides of the window, it will insulate as well as create an effective barrier from the outside. If you’re not a lover of drapes then a roman blind could be the answer. Timber blinds or Holland blinds are ineffective as they don’t adequately seal out the cold.
Finally on sealing your home- have you checked the insulation in your ceiling? Is it of a decent quality? Does it cover the ceiling or are there any gaps?
Energy Efficient Heating: Heaters vary greatly in terms of running costs and performance. If reducing power usage is a priority, it’s important to seek out an energy-efficient form of heating. Reverse-cycle air conditioners are one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to heat your home. In fact; they can be three to six times more efficient than most electric heaters. They also have the added benefit of providing cooling in summer. Make sure you don’t overheat a room but put the temperature between 18 and 21 degrees. A couple of degrees on the thermostat can make a big difference to your power bill. Make sure you clean the filters regularly and arrange a professional service to ensure the system runs efficiently. This will also assist in keeping the indoor air quality at a healthy level. Another fabulous fact about the reverse cycle air conditioner is that it only heats the direct area you are in unlike a ducted heating system, further saving you money.
If you are after a more ambient form of heating consider a slow combustion wood heater, or alternatively a pellet heater. For the wood heater, be sure you only burn well-seasoned, clean timber as green timber releases chemicals and as such is environmentally unsustainable. Also, be sure the timbers you burn are free of paints and other chemicals. Pellets are price comparable with bought wood and is a sustainable option as the pellets are manufactured sustainably and made out of 100% recycled materials. They burn very slow and as such put out maximum heat.
Landscaping around your home: Ensure trees north of your home are trimmed to allow as much sun through the north glazing into your home as possible. It also makes sense as those winter storms rips across our suburbs to help minimise the risk of damage to our homes by falling branches.
Staying Comfortable: Dress warm, wear a jumper and socks and invest in a pair of ugg boots. Add rugs on the floor, they are not only soft underfoot but also keep your feet warm and cosy. Especially a strategically placed sheep skin or rug by the bed for those gentler morning wake ups. Also invest in an extra throw or blanket for the bed and the sofa.