Winter-time can often see our energy costs spike with the increased appetite for heating. To get the best outcome when it comes to reducing your energy bills and reducing your impact on the Australian environment taking a two-tier approach to energy efficiency is recommended. Here are our top tips for achieving the best results:
1. Energy efficiency tips when building:
- • Consider your passive solar design, i.e., that your home gets part of it’s heating, cooling and lighting from the sun. Customising your home design to take into consideration the property location, aspect, and efficient materials, will help minimise energy
- • Insulation in your homes walls, ceiling and floors can make a huge difference to your ongoing costs.
- • Carefully consider whether you will install electricity / gas / solar. Comparing energy plans is a good place to start when deciding this. There are a host of companies who specialise in comparisons, as well as government led initiatives, like Energy Made Easy.
- • Think solar: Roof panels and solar hot water systems may seem initially expensive, but the long-term savings for you and the environment are generally worth it. It also pays to find out what government rebates are available for energy efficient investments, such as solar.
- • Buy appliances that have a good energy efficiency rating and install energy efficient lighting, such as LED. When planning outdoor lights, try to get lights that can be set on timers and sensors.
- • When it comes to temperature control, consider installing central heating/cooling and fans. Fans are effective and cost less to run. Using a combination for your home can be a great way to reduce your heating and cooling bills in the future.
- • Planning a pool? Maybe consider reducing its size and/or volume. Plus, invest in solar heating and a good quality cover to reduce ongoing costs and improve energy efficiency.
- • Choose a builder with a solid understanding of the best energy efficiency In NSW they should achieve a BASIX score and be proactive when it comes to sustainability, such as having an ABSA assessment.
2. Energy efficiency tips in Winter:
- • If it’s cold outside and you’re walking around your house in a t-shirt the chances are you have your heating set a little too high. Pop on a jumper and if you have central heating set it to between 18º and 21ºC. A ceiling fan set to low can also help redistribute warm air too.
- • It may seem obvious, but turn off your lights when you’re not using them.
- • Turn off appliances at the wall when they’re not in use. ‘Standby’ power adds up when all of your appliances are using it.
- • Run your dishwasher only when it is full and if possible use the economy cycle.
- • Wash your clothes using a cold water cycle and avoid using a clothes dryer where possible. If you can wait until you have full loads, even better!
- • We all love a nice long shower, but even if you have installed a water-saving showerhead, by keeping showers to a minimum you could save quite a bit. Each minute of hot water adds up.
- • Keep blinds and curtains open on sunny days to get maximum natural light and heat from the sun. But remember, as soon as the sun goes down close the curtains and blinds to keep the warm air inside.
- • When cooking, a microwave generally uses less power than an oven. It is also usually more energy efficient to boil water in an electric kettle. Plus, cover any pots with a lid to reduce cooking times.
- • Close doors to rooms that you are not using and invest in door seals / snakes to stop any drafts.
- • If you have a second fridge that isn’t being used, it might be a good idea to turn it off. Your fridge generally runs 24/7 and can be expensive to run. Also, it pays to check that the seals are in good working order.
Sustainable design principles are integral to Jones Homes – so talk to our team when planning your custom home design for the best energy efficient solution when building your brand new house – the environment and your back pocket will thank you!