OPINION

Cutting costs: Keep your home cosy in the cold

The Australian Your Home website provides extensive resources for environmentally sustainable homes | yourhome.gov.au.
The Australian Your Home website provides extensive resources for environmentally sustainable homes | yourhome.gov.au.

The colder months can come with added costs for heating your home, which can be as costly as cooling it during summer. If you are currently in a COVID lockdown, you may find that your home is using even more energy than usual.

Most of us live in an existing home with variable degrees of efficiency in hot and cold weather. The good news is there are things you can do to cut those energy bills while keeping the warmth in this winter.

Free and easy

One of the simplest ways to reduce heating costs is to close off rooms that aren't in use and focus your heating where it counts. Another cost-free action is to allow sun to enter through north or west facing windows during the day to take advantage of any available warmth. Remember to close curtains and blinds again before evening to ensure heat does not get lost.

Ensuring warm air can circulate is important for efficient heating, especially if you have high ceilings. Set ceiling fans to rotate clockwise in winter to help push warm air down into the living space.

Lastly, keep those energy bills down by setting heating systems to a reasonable temperature. Around 20C is comfortable for most people - and you can always put on a jumper if you're feeling frosty.

Low-cost and low effort

Ensure draughts are stopped at the source. Check for gaps around your doors and window frames and seal with draught stoppers to prevent stop cold air. Glass is another way heat can escape. Heavy curtains will stop heat loss through your windows and help keep your living spaces cosy.

Bigger investments for homeowners

Properly insulating your home can reduce heating costs by as much as 45 per cent. Key insulation points include your ceiling, floor and walls. If renovating, you could look at bigger changes, such as double-glazed windows, which have better insulating properties.

New builds

If you are building a new home, the building materials you use, the orientation of your home, placement of windows, and insulation will make a huge difference to your energy bills. An energy consultant can advise you on the best approach for your land and your climate.

No matter your living arrangement we can all improve the comfort of our home in winter. Better yet, these tips also work to keep it cool in summer.

  • Details: The NSW Energy Saver website provides tips on rebates and discounts for households, as well as tips for fine-tuning your home.