On cold winter days, your house is your haven from the biting wind, freezing frost, and chilly weather mother nature produces over the season. But, it’s usually at a cost.
Keeping your house toasty warm and at a comfortable level can sting you straight in the hip pocket when your electricity bill for the quarter comes knocking. Ducted heating systems and single radiant, fan and convection heaters you pick up for a bargain price are the biggest energy-users of the bunch, with reverse-cycle split systems and solar-assisted heating options on the most efficient list.
So, how can you save electricity and avoid owing a surge of cash to your energy company?
Only heat the rooms you’re using
Unless you’re spending a large portion of your time in the bathroom, toilet, study or other less commonly used areas, close them off and reduce the areas you’re heating to places like the living room or main bedrooms. This means your heater won’t be working overtime trying to heat every area of your house needlessly. This also applies to central/ducted systems – by closing off rooms and trapping some of the heat, your heater won’t have to disperse warmth as much to keep every room an even temperature.
Set the thermostat to between 18◦C and 20◦C
When the temperature outside gets down to single digits, it’s understandable for you to want to crank your heater to a balmy 26 or 27 and pretend you’re on holiday in a tropical setting, but in reality, you don’t really need your house temperature to be any more than 20 degrees Celsius.
If your heater is working in overdrive to keep you warm and able to wear short sleeves in the dead of winter, your energy consumption is going to spike, and so is your bill! Between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius is considered the optimal temperature for maximum efficiency in winter.
Keep those drafts under control
Door snakes aren’t just daggy decorations your nanna or mum used around the house – they actually serve an important purpose. Cold drafts are your heater’s arch nemesis and quietly sneak in through gaps in seals around doors and windows, making your heating system work up to 25% harder to keep you warm. Door snakes are a great temporary solution to your draft problem but getting a professional in to seal the gaps and install draft-proofing strips will be a lot more efficient in the long run.
Draw the curtains and blinds
A large chunk of heat can make its way out through the windows of your house while your heater is trying to make up for the disappearing warmth. Closing your curtains and/or blinds can keep most of the heat right where it belongs.
Give your heater some TLC with a regular service
Heaters are made up of lots of working parts that become covered in dust, lacking in lubrication, and undergo general wear and tear. Just as your car needs a regular service to operate at an optimal level, so does your heater! Servicing your heater can reduce your energy consumption by making sure it’s working to the best of its ability, while also keeping your family safe from hazards such as carbon monoxide poisoning and asthma-causing dust particles and allergens.
A few more options
If all the above isn’t cutting it, consider options like:
- Looking for a better deal from your energy provider or their competitors
- Investigating solar options for your property
- Looking into different heating systems that are more energy-efficient
- Take advantage of the sun when it fills up and warms different rooms throughout the day