60+ Irresistible Energy Saving Tips for Crushing Electricity Bills
With electrical energy prices soaring and responsible homeowners looking for ways to reduce their carbon emissions, managing energy consumption is more important than ever.
The average Australian household spends $2,500 per year on energy bills and contributes more than 15 tonnes of greenhouse gasses to the environment. That’s a lot of money to spend on energy alone and a far cry from the climate change goal of just 2 tonnes per year by 2030.
Reducing electrical energy usage is an incredibly worthwhile cause and the easiest way to bring those numbers down. But how do you maintain the comfortable and familiar living standards without harming the environment and having electricity bills skyrocket?
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of over 60 tips and hacks for you to utilise at home that won’t change up your day-to-day life all that much. And many of these can be achieved without spending a cent.
From mindful usage of power draining appliances to energy efficient home improvements, you will find valuable tips to suit every lifestyle and budget.
Our essential guide to energy saving covers the following topics:
Some tips won’t be suitable for all households, but we guarantee that you can save money by following along at home. Here are 60+ energy saving tips to help lower your electricity bills and reduce carbon emissions:
Heating and Cooling Tips
Air conditioning and heaters account for over 40 per cent of a home’s total energy usage, making it a major contributor to electricity bills. Most climate regions are either too hot in summer or too cold in winter to avoid climate control altogether. So the best way to reduce heating and cooling costs is by being conscious of usage and taking advantage of the advice provided below. This way, you can remain warm and toasty or cool as a cucumber without going broke.
1. Setting the Temperature Just Right
Setting the temperature of your air con and heater just right can be a significant contributor to your energy saving efforts. When heating, aim for between 17 to 19 degrees Celsius. In cooling mode, set the thermostat to 24 degrees. It’s reported that every degree higher or lower than the recommended will consume between 5-10 per cent more energy.
So, for example, an air conditioner cooling at 18 degrees can consume 30-60 per cent more energy than a system set to 24 degrees. For max energy saving, always aim for the above temperatures.
2. Clean the Air Conditioner Filters
The easiest thing you can do to improve electrical energy efficiency and lower air con running costs is to clean its filters. Over time, the filters will accumulate dust, dirt and grime, all reducing the performance of your air con. So you will need to run the system for longer or on higher settings to achieve the desired climate control.
Cleaning dirty filters can reduce energy consumption anywhere from 5 per cent to 15 per cent, making this simple job incredibly worthwhile. Start by removing the filters and going over them with the vacuum or brush off the dust over a waste bin. Then soak the filters in warm soapy water and leave them to dry before reinstalling. A professional can also be contacted to take care of this dirty job.
3. Reduce Usage by at Least 1 Hour
Another easy way to reduce electricity bills is by cutting back on air conditioner usage by 1 hour each day. This could save you anywhere between $31 and $93 per year, depending on the size and output of a system. 60 minutes is all it takes to save, and this short time won’t make much difference to the overall comfort of your home.
4. Get Your Air Con and Heater Serviced
If you have followed the above energy saving tips and your electricity bills are still higher than expected, consider booking a HVAC technician for a service. During a scheduled service, a licensed technician will clean a unit, test its performance, top up refrigerant gasses and seal potential leaks. All steps are essential for improving the efficiency of a unit and reducing running costs.
Having a HVAC technician service your system once a year can also extend its lifespan and catch potential faults before they turn into costly repairs.
5. Reverse the Ceiling Fans
Did you know that most modern ceiling fans can change direction, allowing them to be used all year round? During summer, a fan should rotate counterclockwise to direct air downwards, creating a wind chill effect. During the winter, flip the switch at the fan’s base or press the corresponding button on the remote to change direction clockwise. This can draw cold air away and towards the ceiling.
Without cold air bothering you, there may be less need to run the air conditioner or heater, with both consuming far more energy than a ceiling fan.
6. Close Off Unused Rooms
Heating and cooling the entire home can waste a significant amount of energy when only a few rooms may require climate control. If relying on ducted air conditioning, consider closing doors to unused bedrooms, home offices and rumpus rooms and focussing on treating a central living space and bedroom. Not only will this improve the efficiency of your climate control, it will also help reduce the price of your energy bills.
Just be sure to leave a few doors open to balance the pressure of the system and keep the fresh air flowing.
7. Make Use of Natural Shade
Planting trees to create natural shade for the home is a no-brainer. Shade will minimise the direct sunlight entering your home, stopping the masonry, timber and furnishings from absorbing heat. The less heat absorbed and radiated back into the house, the less you need to rely on electricity to cool during the summer. Alternatively, fitting awnings above the windows or retractable outdoor blinds can have the same effect without taking up yard space or diminishing the view.
8. Deploy the Thermal Curtains
If trees or awnings are a no-go, consider fitting thermal curtains inside your home. Thermal curtains can look just like ordinary curtains but are insulated with acrylic foam between the layers of fabric. The foam acts as a thermal barrier limiting heat transfer to and from a home.
Thermal curtains can reduce heat loss in winter by up to 25 per cent and reduce solar gain by 33 per cent in the summer, significantly improving the comfort of a home without consuming energy. Regular curtains can have a similar effect but are far less efficient than thermal curtains, reducing loss and gains by just 10 per cent.
9. Switch to Gas Heating
Natural gas carries a lower price tag per unit when compared to electricity. In Australia, the gas required to heat is around one third the price of the same electricity required, so there is significant energy saving by switching to gas.
Whether it’s a gas heater in place of an air conditioner or a continuous flow water heater in place of an electric storage system, you could save money by relying on natural gas or LPG. Gas appliances can cost more upfront, but the savings can quickly make up the difference.
Kitchen and Laundry Energy Tips
Approximately 18 per cent of all household energy is consumed across the kitchen and laundry. We’re talking about the power supply used by the fridge, freezer, dishwasher, oven, washing machine, dryer and the abundance of appliances tucked in the kitchen cupboards.
You’d be surprised by how much energy you could be saving by applying these tantalising tips, and by using a dishwasher more often. That’s right! Using the dishwasher more often. Not less.
10. Use the Dishwasher More Often
Despite popular belief, the dishwasher uses less water and less energy than washing by hand. On average, a household will use 31 litres of water per day to fill the sink, whereas an efficient dishwasher will use 12 to 15 litres to wash a full load. That’s around one third of the water used, not to mention the time and labour saved.
Modern dishwashers are equipped with water heating functions and don’t need to use your home’s hot water supply. According to Energy Star, an efficient dishwasher with a 4 or 5 star energy rating can use half the energy required to fill the sink with hot water. Save energy and money by using the dishwasher more often. Just make sure you wait till there are enough dirty dishes for a full load before use.
11. Disconnect the Second Fridge
A standard 460 litre fridge with a four star energy rating consumes around 335kW of electricity each year. With Australian energy prices around 0.30 per kW, you could expect a refrigerator to contribute about $100.50 per year to your electricity bills. Add a second fridge, and you will pay double that amount. Want to reduce your bills by $100 a year? Disconnect the second fridge.
12. Always Cover Food in the Fridge
When storing leftovers in the refrigerator, be sure to keep them covered in cling wrap or sealed in containers. Uncovered foods can release moisture which warms the fridge and forces the compressor to work harder, consuming more energy.
Even without considering the energy saving, covering food is essential. Coverings can preserve the food for longer, and if bacteria is lurking in the fridge, it can find its way to your uncovered food.
13. Defrost Food Naturally
Instead of using a microwave to defrost your food and accidentally cooking it a little, let frozen things rest in the sink to thaw. Or in the case of frozen chicken, defrost it within the fridge. This can be a slow process, but if you stay on top of meal preparations, there shouldn’t be any issues with having frozen goods naturally defrosted and ready to go by dinner time. Chicken differs as bacteria can form if left unchilled.
14. Completely Fill Your Freezer
Every time you open the freezer, warm air enters and occupies the free space. Additional energy is then required to maintain the icy-cold temperature. Filling the freezer limits space for air and reduces the workload of a freezer’s compressor, thus saving energy.
Fill empty bottles with water for freezing if you don’t have enough food to fill the space. Items can take longer to chill in a filled freezer, so it’s worth weighing up which is more valuable – time or money.
15. Set the Fridge Temperature Just Right
When setting the refrigerator’s thermostat, aim for 0 to 4 degrees Celsius and your freezer should be set between -15 to -18 degrees. Set the fridge temp too high, and it won’t chill contents to the desired level. Set the fridge too cold, and every degree below the recommended increases running costs by 2 to 4 per cent.
16. Clean the Refrigerator Coils
Like the air con filters, refrigerator coils collect dust and dirt, making the fridge have to work harder to achieve the desired results. It’s estimated that cleaning the coils can significantly reduce a fridge’s energy usage by anywhere up to 30 per cent.
The coils can be found on the back of older model fridges and underneath modern ones. Before cleaning, be sure to disconnect the refrigerator from its power supply and then remove any dust with a vacuum cleaner. A brush is required to remove stubborn build-up and wipe the coils clean with a cloth to complete the job.
17. Replace Fridge Door Seals
Broken, damaged or worn fridge door seals will leak cold air and allow warm air to seep in. The fridge will then have to work harder to compensate for the differences in temperature using additional energy in the process. Replace your fridge seals by purchasing a home repair kit, requesting a professional or consider upgrading to a newer energy efficient fridge that already carries lower running costs.
18. Delicious One Pan Dinners
Instead of using the cooktop, the oven, the food processor and countless other appliances to cook dinner – all of which consume various levels of energy – why not rely on a single pan, pot, dish or use a slow cooker for your culinary creation?
Soups, casseroles, curries, pasta and countless other options can all be crafted with a single appliance, saving you more time, energy and washing up afterwards. Here’s a great recipe to get you started:
Chicken Tortilla Soup
● 1 brown onion
● 2 cloves garlic
● 500g chicken breast
● 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
● 1/2 tsp ground cumin
● 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
● 250g cherry tomatoes
● 1 can diced tomatoes
● 1 can black beans
● 1 cup corn kernels
● 6 cups chicken stock
Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and avocado and season with cracked pepper.
19. Invest in an Air Fryer
The air fryer is a popular cooking appliance for many reasons. Not only do air fryers provide a healthier alternative to the deep fryer, they can also cook food at a quicker rate. Fast air fryer cooking means more efficient cooking, using less energy than what’s required to cook the same foods in an oven. Air fryers are available at varying price points, so there’s an appliance to suit every budget.
20. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
It’s estimated that 90% of the energy consumed when using a washing machine goes towards heating the water. So for significant energy savings, wash your clothes in cold water. Check the labels of your garments, and you will often find that a cold wash is recommended, as it’s gentler and helps maintain colour. Pre-soak heavily soiled items, and you may avoid the need for washing in hot water altogether.
21. Use Shorter Wash Cycles
This tip applies to both the dishwasher and the washing machine. By default, these appliances can be set to long wash cycles that guarantee a thorough wash. There’s a good chance that a shorter cycle using less water and less energy will achieve the desired results. Experiment with the different wash cycles of your appliances and different detergents to see what works for you.
22. Only Wash Full Loads
This energy saving tip applies to the dishwasher, the washing machine and also the clothes dryer. Save energy by waiting until you have enough clothes or utensils to fill the machine. This will cut down on usage and could be the easiest of all energy saving tips. That is, so long as you own enough clothes and utensils to wait for a full load.
23. Air Dry Where Possible
Make use of the free energy provided by the sun to air dry clothes when possible. If the weather is a bit hit or miss, an indoor clothes airer will do the trick. Albeit, it will take longer to dry this way.
You can also apply the same logic to your dishwasher by ending the cycle before it starts drying utensils. Then, place them in a dish drainer by the sink to air dry, or whip out the tea towel and dry by hand.
24. Heat Pump Technology
The heat pump is the latest in energy efficient technologies, designed to reduce the running costs of larger heating appliances. A heat pump works within heaters, water heaters and clothes dryers by extracting heat from the air and transferring it to a system for use. By transferring heat rather than generating it, a heat pump can provide adequate performance for as little as a quarter of the cost of conventional appliances.
Bathroom Energy Saving Tips
When it comes to the bathroom, hot water is the big consumer of electricity energy. Another 20 per cent of a household’s energy usage goes into hot water. So you can start lowering the costs of electricity bills in the bathroom by taking shorter showers.
Taking shorter showers is not an ideal outcome, but the financial and environmental benefits are certainly worth reducing your time under the shower head. But it’s not all bad news, as we’ve come up with a few hacks for extending the duration of showers without actually consuming more water. Check them out below.
25. Take Shorter Showers
In Australia, the average shower length is 7 minutes and uses around 55 litres of hot water. According to the Canberra Times, Shaving three minutes off shower times can save a three-person household 70 litres of water per day and around $105 a year if using a gas heated hot water system. As electricity energy costs more than gas, the savings can increase if relying on an electric storage water heater.
26. Use Two Song Timers
The easiest way to reduce the length of showers and stick with it is by using a timer. Set the alarm on your phone or watch so that you have to climb outside the shower to stop annoying tones. Or, if you enjoy listening to music in the shower, set yourself on a two song timer. Just make sure you don’t choose two ten minute dance floor anthems.
27. Shower Together
With toddlers and infants requiring constant supervision, you can save time and reduce energy and water usage by showering along with them. It’s the two birds, one stone principle. The next step is sharing the occasional shower with your partner. This brings further savings along with additional benefits…
28. Install a Low Flow Shower Head
You can also decrease hot water usage by switching over to a low flow shower head. Low flow shower heads use as little as 5 litres of water per minute with quality models designed to reduce water usage without sacrificing the desirable water pressure. Even a slight reduction in water flow can save you 5000 litres of water a year and the energy required to heat it.
Lighting and Entertainment Tips
Light bulbs and the many appliances across the home account for a further 18 per cent of electrical energy consumption. Short of sitting in the dark, switching to energy saving LED bulbs is a great place to start. And when it comes to appliances, you can reduce costs by being smart about usage.
29. Use Energy Heavy Appliances at Night
To reduce the strain on the grid, energy providers discount the price of electricity at night during off peak times. This is typically between 9pm, and 7am. Most providers drop their electrical energy prices by over 50% at night, so there are significant savings to be had by using energy heavy appliances after dark.
Appliances like the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher can all be filled and then switched on right before bed, so they only consume energy at off peak rates. Your water heater can be set to heat only during the night, if a plumber hasn’t done this already. Same goes for the pool filter/cleaner. Using energy heavy appliances during off peak times is a great way to reduce electricity bills.
30. Make the Switch to LED Light Globes
LED light globes last significantly longer than the alternatives and also consume less energy. For comparison, LED globes can use up to 75 per cent less energy than CFL and halogen globes and last up to 20 times longer.
LED globes have a lifespan up to 25,000 hours, or around 15-20 years. Your children could be born, raised and have moved out without ever having seen you replace a globe. LED light globes do cost more upfront but will continue with the energy saving for a decade or two.
31. Upgrade to a Smart Meter
Upgrade your meter box with a smart meter, and you have the means to monitor precisely how much energy is being consumed on the premises. A smart meter can give you detailed information in real time which you can then use to foresee prices on upcoming electricity bills and adjust your usage accordingly.
New builds will be equipped with a smart meter as standard, but residents of existing homes may need to upgrade by contacting their energy provider.
32. Conduct an Energy Audit
Electricity bills are not itemised like invoices and receipts, so it can be difficult to tell what consumes the most energy in your home. This is where an energy audit comes in.
A home energy audit can help you understand where all the energy is going across your heating, cooling, lighting, hot water and appliances. This information can help you find ways of lowering costs, such as reducing the usage of specific appliances or upgrading to more energy efficient models.
There are many free energy audit guides and tutorials available online. You can also purchase energy audit toolkits and contact professionals to handle the job.
33. Turn Off Appliances at the Wall
Can you really save power by switching appliances off at the wall, or is this just a myth? According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, appliances in standby mode, or appliances powered on but not in use, account for 3 per cent of energy bills. If you’re used to paying around $1,500 per year on electricity bills, $45 goes to appliances not even in use.
Turning appliances off at the wall won’t save a significant amount of money, but combine this tip with the others, and the energy saving will continue to rise.
34. Upgrade to Smart Power Boards
When appliances are too difficult to switch off the wall, smart power boards come in useful. A smart power board or power strip works to reduce energy usage by automatically shutting off power to appliances not in use. The smart circuitry can detect changes in energy consumption and shuts off outlets not in use while the remainder stay active. Most smart power boards have one or two sockets designed to be always on for essential appliances like alarms and fridges.
35. Smart Home Upgrades
Smart home technology does a great job of improving the convenience of your electronics, but it can also increase energy saving by making your smartphone the ‘keys to the kingdom’. With a connected smart home, you can monitor the usage of appliances on the go and switch off items not in use. This is ideal for managing devices when lazy and forgetful family members fail to switch them off when not in use.
36. Upgrade to Energy Efficient Appliances
Electrical appliances can account for around 30 per cent of a household’s energy usage, so choosing energy efficient appliances can bring down the costs of electricity bills.
The best way to find efficient appliances is with the star rating presented as a sticker. The higher the star rating, the less energy consumed by the appliance. Air conditioners, clothes dryers, monitors, dishwashers, fridges, washing machines and TVs all carry star ratings in Australia. Upgrade to energy efficient appliances and increase your energy savings.
Everyday Energy Saving Tips
There’s something for everyone in this next collection of energy saving tips. From changing the frequency in which you boil water to placing a phone call and requesting better rates, each of these tips is simple to achieve, and the more you implement, the higher the savings.
37. Only Fill the Kettle as Required
If you’re making one cup of tea, fill the kettle with just enough water for one cup. If it’s two coffees, use just enough water for two cups, and so forth. This way, you’re only boiling as much water as required and using less time and energy than if you were boiling a full kettle every time.
38. Keep a Full Thermos on Hand
Make one larger batch of tea, coffee or hot water in the morning and keep it hot within a thermos. This will save you from having to boil the kettle repeatedly throughout the day and using unnecessary energy in the process.
39. No Peeking in the Oven
Try and avoid opening the oven door to check on the progress of your roast, cake or casserole. Every time you peek in the oven, even if it’s just a few seconds, the internal temperature can drop by around 15 degrees Celsius. This will increase your cooking time, using more energy along the way.
40. Host Weekly BBQs
With natural gas and LPG costing less than electricity – around one third of the price – cooking on a gas barbeque every now and then is a great way to reduce a kitchen’s energy usage.
Using charcoal is even better. You also get the added benefits of mouth-watering char flavours, less retained fats, and a BBQ is a great excuse for socialising with friends.
41. Warm Up with Exercise
Warm up without increasing electricity bills by doing some vigorous exercise. Exercise boosts your body’s heat production, which in turn increases your temperature by a few degrees.
The more strenuous the workout, the more heat is produced. The additional body heat will help keep you warm for a short time, reducing the need for electric or gas heating. The heat will dissipate over time, but it’s an excellent excuse to go for a run, visit the gym or join a team sport. There’s also the added benefit of lowering heart disease, making frequent exercise a must.
42. Cool Down with Swimming
On those excruciating hot days where you can’t catch a break from the heat, seek comfort by going for a swim instead of pumping the air con. If you don’t have a swimming pool, make friends with some neighbours that do. Just be sure to slip, slop and slap. Taking a few quick, cold showers will have the same effect, albeit less fun.
43. Negotiate a Better Energy Price
A simple way to reduce the price of your electricity bills is to ask your energy provider for a better price. Calling up and asking for a better rate on electricity or gas could net you a discount on bills for the next year or two. And once the discount expires, nothing is stopping you from shopping around for a better price. Do your research beforehand, as quoting a competitor’s price could only help you receive the desired discount. It pays (or saves) to take the initiative.
44. Dinner by Candlelight
Candles are a great way to build a romantic atmosphere and reduce the need for electrical lighting. Whether you’re wining and dining on date night or just reading a paperback in bed, relying on candles for lighting is an easy energy saving step that’s available to anyone who can be trusted around open flames.
45. Weekly Board Game Nights
Each week, hold a family activity that doesn’t involve screen time. Board games, for example, are a great activity for bringing people together and letting everyone show their competitive side. Go beyond the basics of Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit to explore the growing number of new and innovative titles. Just steer clear of Monopoly. That one always ends in drama.
46. Dress for the Weather
You might be tempted to crank the heater to warm the interior of your home. But you could also wear a hoodie, a dressing gown, a pair of slippers and a beanie, or rug up under a blanket and achieve the same result. Dress appropriately, and there’s a good chance that you can remain comfortable without adding a cent to your electricity bill. The same goes for dressing down in summer to help reduce air conditioner running costs.
47. Charge Your Phone During the Day
It should take no longer than 1-3 hours to fully charge the battery of a smartphone. So why do you leave it plugged into the charger all night? Charge a smartphone for longer than required and you risk degrading the battery and wasting energy by keeping the phone ‘topped up’ all night.
To save energy, charge the phone during the day and then switch the charger off when you achieve full battery. Better yet, charge your phone at work and let the boss flip the electricity bill.
48. Take Advantage of Rebates
This is not an energy saving tip per se, but searching for available rebates and government grants is a great way to save money on new purchases such as energy efficient appliances and upgrading to solar power.
Search online to discover what your local government and council have made available in your area. You may find savings and cash benefits for upgrading to new technologies that were already on the cards, including items like electric vehicles and rainwater tanks.
It’s in everyone’s best interest to reduce energy usage due to the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. This explains why governing bodies are willing to reward those who take the initiative.
49. Kids Pay for the Power Supply
Instead of charging the kids board or rent, ask them to take care of the electricity bills. This can help make the kids more conscious of their energy consumption and more likely to switch off appliances not in use. Especially if they think it could save them money.
Outdoor Energy Saving Tips
When looking for ways to reduce electricity bills, people usually focus on energy saving within the home. However, there are significant savings to be had by stepping outdoors, and especially if you own a swimming pool. Let’s take a look:
50. Keep the Pool Clean
Keeping a swimming pool clean can be expensive. Pool cleaners can consume between 2,000 and 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, adding $800 to $1,200 to electricity bills.
The best way to lower this electrical energy usage is by keeping the pool clean, reducing the need for the automatic cleaner. Fitting a cover when not in use should significantly cut down on the leaves and debris that finds its way to the bottom of a swimming pool.
51. Pool Pump Only at Night
Remember when we said to use energy heavy appliances at night? The same goes for the pool cleaner and pump. Off peak energy prices come into effect at night, cutting costs by around 50 per cent. So run the pool cleaner after dark, and it will cost less than if operated during the day.
52. Install Solar Lights
Modern solar lights are efficient, powerful and a great way to reduce electricity usage around the yard. Fitting solar lights around the garden, footpath, and deck can provide plenty of light after dark without adding to electricity bills.
Solar lights are available in many styles, from simple garden lights to security lights, sensor lights, flood lights and more. So, there’s bound to be a style to suit your home and purpose.
53. Install Sensor Lights
Take the outdoor lighting further by installing sensor lights around the garden, footpath and carport. Whether choosing hard-wired sensor lights or a solar equivalent, sensor lights only activate when they detect movement and switch off a short time after. There’s little to no wasted energy and no risks of forgetting to turn the lights off when not in use.
Energy Saving Renovations
Modern homes are designed to meet reasonably high standards regarding insulation, heating and cooling proficiency and energy efficiency. However, houses built before the 1990s can be lacking in these areas. The below tips are worthwhile if the budget permits, with benefits that you can reap energy savings year after year.
54. Install a Solar Tube
A solar tube is a form of skylight designed to capture and then reflect sunlight into the home. A solar tube is cost effective and easy to install. It’s an excellent option for a dim room or hallway that doesn’t receive enough natural light. Having a solar tube skylight fitted can eliminate the need for electrical lighting during the day.
55. Make Way for Solar Energy
Solar panels can provide a great source of renewable green energy by converting sunlight into a usable power supply. Solar energy is free to use.
An 8kW solar system that makes use of a solar battery can save you up to $3,400 per year on electricity bills and the green energy can be stored to use as you see fit. You might even end up with a credit on upcoming bills.
The costs of installing a solar system are quickly outweighed by the benefits. Plus, there are often solar rebates available making the purchase of a system more affordable than you may think.
56. Improve Your Roof Insulation
Between 25 per cent to 30 per cent of heat enters and escapes a home through the ceiling.
That’s why fitting insulation batts in the ceiling can go a long way to improving your home’s heating and cooling efficiency. Insulation batts can help trap that desirable warmth in winter and stop the heat from entering during the summer. Improving a home’s thermal efficiency can reduce the need for a heater or air conditioner, consequently reducing your energy bills.
Fitting insulation batts can be an itchy job, and one with a few health and safety risks. You should contact a professional when working within a confined space like the roof cavity.
57. Drift to Double Glazed Windows and Doors
Double glazed windows and doors are constructed with two panes of glass separated by a gap at least 12mm wide. This gap is filled with Argon gas and sealed forming a highly efficient barrier between you and outside temperatures.
The Argon gas acts as a transparent layer of insulation, reducing the heat escaping in winter and preventing unwanted heat from entering in the summer.
Double glazed windows and doors can reduce a home’s heat loss and heat gain by around 30 per cent when compared to single-glazed. This, along with ceiling and floor insulation, will go a long way to reducing the need for heating and cooling appliances.
58. Explore Low e Glass (Low Emissivity Glass)
If double glazed windows prove too costly, consider upgrading to low emissivity glass instead. Low emissivity glass, or low e glass, takes a standard pane and bakes on a transparent coating adding to a window’s thermal resistance.
There are different types of Low e glass with options suited to different climates. The coating can be used on its own to reduce the sun’s impact and trap interior heat, or it can be used in conjunction with glazed windows to enhance insulation even further.
59. Insulate Hot Water Pipes
Insulating hot water pipes can reduce the amount of heat lost as water travels through the pipes to your shower head and faucets. With less hot water required to achieve the desired temperature, you could save around 3kWh/day and $185 a year on electricity bills.
Insulating hot water pipes can also speed up the water heating process, wasting less cold water during the early stage of running a shower or tap.
Insulate exposed pipes by covering them in elastomeric pipe insulation outdoors, under the house and wherever else you can access the pipes.
60. Favouring Floor insulation
An additional 10 to 20 per cent of heat enters and escapes a home through uninsulated timber floors and suspended concrete slabs. Fitting underfloor insulation can decrease heat loss and gain improving the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.
Floor insulation comes as insulation batts and spray in foam. It’s fitted in a similar fashion to roof insulation but fastened in place so it won’t fall away. If you have access to the subfloor, floor insulation can be an incredibly worthwhile job, one that should be left to professionals who specialise in work involving confined spaces.
61. Lay Carpets and Rugs
Without subfloor access, carpet is the best way to reduce heat loss and gain through the floor. It’s estimated that carpet alone can reduce annual heating costs by 4 to 6 per cent. If you want to maintain the classic hardwood look or the sleek aesthetic of concrete, roll out the rugs. Then, when the weather warms up, store them away until next winter.
62. Reduce Air Leakage
Older homes are notorious for their air leakage, which reduces the efficiency of heating and cooling appliances. Gaps between floorboards, around windows, under doors and air leaking through ventilation accounts for a further 5 to 15 per cent of heat loss and gains.
The good news is fixes are affordable and, for the most part, simple DIY jobs. Caulking gaps will reduce air leakage, and grout will take care of the gaps between floorboards. Fitting sealing strips to the bottom of doors will reduce air passing through and can inhibit insects from entering a home. Most ventilation can be manually closed off to reduce potential leakage.
By applying the above energy saving tips to your home and lifestyle, you should start to see the zeros slip away from your electricity bills. Of course, not all of these tips are for everyone, but we can guarantee that everyone will benefit from at least a few.
And the other arguably more important benefit is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The less energy consumed, the less emissions produced, so you can have more money to spend on what matters most and help leave the planet in reasonable condition for future generations.
Cold Water Saves
Complete Carpet Co
Sustainable Living Tasmania
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Published: 11 Jun, 2021