With autumn upon us and the colour of the leaves transforming to shades of orange and red, we know that the weather will soon turn crisp and cool. The trans-seasonal changes tell us that winter is just around the corner, and so too are those costly winter heating bills.
In the wake of COVID-19, we’re all likely to be spending more time at home this winter than we normally would, and many of us are keeping a close eye on our budgets and being mindful of spending. The good news is that it is possible to reduce your heating bills this winter by getting ahead of the seasonal change and preparing sooner rather than later!
Following these simple tips now to prepare your home ahead of the winter snap will result in real savings down the track.
- The sun’s natural warmth provides a free source of home heating. In fact, the Australian Window Association estimates that up to 87 per cent of the sunlight that falls on windows enters the home and becomes heat, so why not make the most of it?
- Opening curtains, blinds and shutters during the day allows sunlight to naturally heat your home. Prepare for the cooler months by getting to know which windows receive direct sunlight and when.
- Do some research into the window treatments available, including insulated cellular shades, window films, drapes, curtains, shades and shutters to decide which is best for you. Insulated cellular shades are a popular choice for those looking to gain noteworthy energy savings by tapping into the sun’s natural power.
- A simple and effective measure to reduce cold-air infiltration in your home is to seal any cracks and leaks around your house’s exterior. Prep your home by using a high-quality silicone sealant to fill in any gaps or cracks and pay close attention to the areas surrounding the windows, door frames and pipes.
- Door draught excluders are a cheap and quick fix that will reduce cold air from gusting through your home. These can be purchased online or at selected retailers and can be placed behind the door and removed as necessary as the weather slowly warms up again in the months to come.
- Up to 25 per cent of your home’s heating can be lost through draughts and air leakages. So, by sealing any cracks that may expose your home to the chilly winter air, you will save money on heating bills during the cooler season.
- Many of us make the mistake of thinking ceiling fans are only useful during the warm, summer months. Most ceiling fans feature a switch allowing you to reverse the blade rotation.
- Prep for winter by investigating and testing whether your ceiling fans are equipped with this feature, with the switch typically located on the motor housing or remote control.
- By reversing the blade rotation in winter, the fan will blow warm air trapped near the ceiling down into the room and the rest of the house. Fans cost around three cents per hour to run, making them a cost-effective way to keep your home warm and snug during the winter months.
- A programmable thermostat can slash up to 10 per cent off your annual energy bill. With this technology, you can program your home’s heating devices, such as air conditioners and heaters to turn the heat down at night and when the house is naturally warmer due to sunlight during the day.
- Before the winter snap, experiment with the settings of your thermostat. Setting the thermostat to a healthy temperature, between 18 to 20°C, will moderate electricity use while also preventing mould growth and dampness in the home. Adopt a trial and test approach, so that by the time winter rolls around, your heating settings can remain consistent, providing your home with warmth and preventing a nasty spike your heating bill usage.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of State Custodians.
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