Our energy bills can be one of our biggest monthly expenditures, and for a lot of residents, the cost of keeping the home at a comfortable temperature can be stressful. There are also environmental factors to consider when heating and cooling our homes and better energy use can help to preserve the environment.
With the Spring weather in Melbourne so up and down, it’s not unlikely that one day you may need the heating, and the next the cooling! So on that note, here are 6 tips to heat or cool your home while using less power:
6 ways to heat or cool your home – and save power!
1. Set your theromstat
Choosing a temperature for your home can be much more energy efficient that turning on the air conditioning or heating on full strength until you are too hot or too cold. By setting the thermostat you are keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, and once the set temperature has been reached, the power will turn off until the temperature in your home dips or rises.
If you already use your thermostat, try lowering the temperature slightly in cold months and raising it slightly in warmer months. This small change may not even be noticed by your family yet it can save you hundreds of dollars on your energy bills.
2. Insulate your home properly
A well insulated home will maintain its internal temperature much longer and need less power to heat or cool. If it is hot outside, your home will keep cooler for longer and vice versa. It’s not just the ceiling that you should insulate either. Under floor insulation can be used to great effect. Wall insulation is also well worth the investment however its difficult to fit in an established home. Double glazed windows can also be considered for new homes or if you plan to renovate with passive solar in mind. If there are any gaps under doors or small holes around window frames, make sure to seal them up.
3. Window and floor furnishings
Thick curtains and using rugs or carpets on hard floors will also help control the temperature of your home. You can also make better use of your curtains and blinds to effectively control the temperature of your home. Open your curtains in the morning to allow the sun to warm your home in cooler months and close the curtains in the afternoon to insulate your windows and keep the heat in. This works well in hotter months too – open your windows and curtains to allow the morning dew to cool your home and then close your curtains or blinds to keep the heat out. Click here for some great carpet options.
4. Go solar
We all love a temperature controlled home. Something that isn’t too hot or too cold. Yes energy needs to be used to make that happen however it doen’t have to come at a huge expense. Consider residential solar power as a guilt free option to help power your home. It’s good for the environment and good for your budget over the long term. You can harness your own power to run your air conditioning and heating systems, and any energy that you generate but don’t use can be sold back into the grid. The solar installation process is generally a breeze these days, depending on your home configuration. And to make it even better, be sure to check out the recently released ‘Solar Homes Package’ by Sustainability Victoria to see if you are eligible for a rebate.
5. Have your AC and heating system maintained or replaced
If your AC and heating systems are old or haven’t been checked for a while, get in the professionals to inspect them as soon as possible. If your AC or heating isn’t running as efficiently as it could be, you’ll be spending more money than you should be to try and control the temperature of your home.
A quick tune-up can sometimes make your system run much more efficiently so that you’ll need to use it less. The right system for the space you are heating or cooling is also important. If the unit is too small for the space, it’s going to cost you far more to run over the long term and probably need replacing sooner due to wear and tear.
6. Do some gardening
The landscape outside of your windows can affect the internal temperature of your home. If you have rooms that are getting too hot, plant trees outside the windows to provide shading. This will help keep your home cool. If you have rooms that are too cold and there are trees outside the windows, you’ll find that cutting them down allows more sun to get into the room to warm it naturally.