Many homes in Australia suffer from poor insulation, which means that in hot weather they are sweltering and in cold weather they are freezing. This is mostly a result of poor architecture that ran rampant in the mid 1900’s, not really designed with the ever-changing Australian climate in mind.
For most homeowners, however, poor property design is not enough of a reason to put up with uncomfortable weather extremes. The home is (arguably) where you spend most of your time, and should therefore cater to your needs and desires.
While you can crank up the heater or the air conditioner during the coldest and warmest months, this solution is not very sustainable for the earth nor your wallet. Home heating and cooling is expensive when you rely on temperature control fixtures to do the job.
There are, however, many other easy ways to reduce your heating and cooling use and therefore cut down on your bills as well.
# If your ceilings, walls and floors are not well-insulated, bolster them with high-quality insulation. Poor insulation is one of the biggest reasons why homeowners suffer from internal weather extremes. If you install effective insulation methods within your home, you can help keep warm air in when it’s cold out and cool air in when it’s hot.
# Close all doors and windows when heating or cooling is in use. If any synthetically cooled or heated air escapes while your heater or air conditioning are in use, they will work harder to make up for that change, therefore increasing your energy use and money expenditure. Save your resources by keeping heated or cooled areas closed off to avoid wasting energy.
# Heat and cool only the rooms you are using. Don’t keep your heating or cooling systems running throughout the whole house when people aren’t even in the other rooms. Close off vents and doors to minimise unnecessary energy expenditure, and take advantage of room-by-room heating or cooling if you have multiple units in place.
# Invest in some flexible window fixtures, such as plantation shutters. Shutters are one of the best window covering options for those who want ultimate light and air customisation. Plantation shutters can be altered to allow any range of light in, and can be a nice way to let in a bit of a breeze during summer. That being said, they also add extra insulation during winter to protect you from cold and draughts.
# Adorn your wooden or tile floors with rugs to warm them up. Wooden floors tend to stay pretty cool, which is great in summer but not so ideal justify fall and winter. Tile floors are even more heat-resistant, meaning they can cause your home to feel quite icy when the temperature dips. Luckily, the simple addition of a few throw rugs can cosy up the space and make your rooms warmer.
# When in doubt, change your outfit. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to cool down or warm up is by removing or adding layers. What a difference a pair of socks or the swap from pants to shorts can make. We’re not telling you wear a winter coat around the house, but maybe try layering up before turning the heat on.
# Take advantage of natural shade providers such as trees or awnings. If the sun pelts you through your windows, you may benefit from some exterior cooling methods to block some of the light and heat. Trees and awnings are two great options, while exterior shutters can also provide extra protection from the sun’s rays.
As winter rolls around, many Australian residents will be turning to their home heaters for warmth and domestic comfort. Hopefully, you can utilise some of these tips to stand apart from the crowd and reduce your overall energy use this year.
March 28, 2018