5 ways to warm your home this year
1. Use your curtains
Heat from the sun is free so make the most of it. Open your curtains and let the sunlight in during the day to make use of this free heat. When it gets dark, shut your curtains, which act as another layer of insulation and keep warmth in your rooms. You should also make sure you don’t have any leaks or gaps so that the warm air can stay in and the cold air stays out – this also helps to reduce condensation.
2. Use timers on your central heating
The Government run YourHome website advises that electricity accounts for about 53% of the energy used in Australian households. Programming your heating system to turn the heating on a little earlier – such as 30 minutes before you get up in the morning – but at a lower temperature is cheaper than turning it on just as you need it at a higher temperature. This is because a heater heats up at a constant speed whether you set your thermostat to 20°C or 30°C. But don’t make the mistake of leaving your heating on low all day – because then you’re just paying for heat when you don’t need it.
3. Maximise your insulation
When it comes to heat, around 25% is lost through the roof. This can be easily reduced by installing 25cm of insulation throughout your loft. It’s also worth seeing what’s going on in your walls, as around a third of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost this way. Although it’s not as cheap to install as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation could save up to $300 a year in heating bills. It’s also worth checking with your energy supplier to see if they have any insulation schemes running. This can sometimes mean cheap or free installation.
4. Turn down the dial
This may seem a little counter-intuitive but bear with me. The World Health Organisation previously recommended minimum temperature of 21°C in the living room, but this was revised to 18°C in 2014. And research shows that turning your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bill by up to 10%. So keep the dial at 18°C, save money and avoid the negative impacts of a cold home.
5. Block out the draughts
Even a simple solution such as making your own sausage dog draught excluder will help keep the warmth in your home. The energy saving organisation estimates that DIY draught-proofing your doors, windows and cracks in the floor could save $45 per year. You can do this yourself for very little cost. Self-adhesive rubber seals around doors and windows and door draught excluders are relatively cheap and easy to install. So it’s worth getting those doors and windows sealed before winter properly kicks in.