How are you handling the chilly mornings we’ve been having? If you’re looking for ways to keep warm that won’t cost a fortune, we have some ideas…
- Open north-facing blinds on sunny days
North-facing windows are best for trapping winter sun. If you can, try to get some sunlight onto solid masonry or a concrete floor. The more heat you can trap, the longer your house will stay warm.
- Limit your shower time
It’s hard to step out from under a hot shower, but for the sake of your bills try to limit your shower time to 3-4 minutes.
- Re-think your heater
Electric bar heaters might be convenient but they are big money guzzlers. According to Choice, the best heaters are natural gas space heaters. If your property has a gas outlet, this option may be worth considering.
- Use rugs on bare floors
Rugs help insulate rooms and retain heat. Carpet remnants will also do the job nicely.
- Find and block any draughts
The best way to find a draught is with a candle. Light it and hold it near windows and doors. If the flame flickers, you’ve got a draught. You can plug draughts around doors with a door snake or a rolled-up towel. If air is coming in through cracks around windows, let us know – we may be able to fix it.
- Wash clothes in cold water
Washing in hot water costs more money than washing in cold. Switching to a cold water wash can save you money as well as reducing carbon pollution.
- Look at the star rating on your appliances
The types of appliances you use have a big effect on your bills. Energy-efficient appliances cost less to run, use less water and produce less greenhouse gases. The Australian Government has star ratings systems for both energy and water use by appliances. You can find out more information about these by visiting www.energyrating.gov.au and W.E.L.S.
- Keep the space around your heater free of obstructions
The fewer obstructions around your heater, the larger the area it will heat. Keep your heater away from furniture, walls and other obstructions and never hang clothes on or too close to heaters.
- Close off doors to unused rooms
Heating empty rooms is a waste of money. If they are unused for most of the day, close them up.
- Got reverse-cycle air-conditioning? Set your thermostat to 18°C-20°C
You may be tempted to crank your air-conditioner up to a balmy 23°C but every 1°C higher can add an extra 10% to your heating costs.
We’d love to know what you’re doing to stay warm this winter. Do you have any tips we can share with our readers? Let us know on Facebook.