Australians pay among the world’s highest electricity prices. Power bills are expected soar even higher in the succeeding years.
About 60 percent of the energy consumption of a typical household comes from heating and cooling the home. What most homeowners don’t realise is that a draughty home (an uninsulated home with gaps and cracks in various areas) can massively blow out their energy bills. This is because air-conditioned air can easily escape through the open spaces and out of the home, leaving your thermal comfort difficult to maintain.
While we don’t have the power to control the movement of electricity prices as a result of this action, what households can do (and you can start this today!) is to practice energy-saving habits to keep their energy consumption at the minimum.
Energy efficiency is the wisest step that homeowners can take to reduce energy cost without compromising their comfort. Not only does this benefit your bank balance but also help the environment by lowering your carbon footprint. Expounding a little more on the concept of “doing more with less,” energy efficiency involves cutting back on the use of energy to perform an action (in this case, reducing the amount of energy you would normally use to heat or cool your living space).
There are several ways to save on electricity at home. While making the shift to LED light bulbs is a great first step to energy efficiency, it is not the main game.
Draught-proof your home
Most Australian homes are draughty. The older the home, the more prone it is to excessive air exchange. Many homeowners attempt to remedy this by using door snakes or applying ‘sticky stuff’ around their doors. These are only band-aid solutions and don’t really do much in blocking off the entry of draught into the home.
Draught-proofing is the single most effective solution to prevent the cold air (and warm air during summer) from penetrating your home and eventually affecting your thermal comfort. It is also a smart and cost-effective way to convert uncontrolled draughts into controllable ventilation. For draught proofing we have shortlisted around 400 products (from over 1,000) that provide a tight seal around doors, windows, gaps and cracks, vents, exhaust fans, etc.
The benefits of a complete and effective draught proofing system include:
✔ Full ventilation control
✔ Immediate impact to your thermal comfort
✔ Reduced unwanted air leakage
✔ Reduced amount of heating and cooling energy required to keep your home comfortable
✔ Lower energy bills by up to 50 percent
There is a set of draught-proofing solutions for every home type and structure. Dependent on your budget and your home requirements, these solutions can improve your summer and winter days when installed properly.
If your floors get unbearably cold during winter, underfloor insulation can provide you instant comfort. With the use of high-quality polyester material, the underfloor insulation can stop the cold air from permeating your timber floors. Because of its exceptional quality, polyester insulation lasts for over 50 years so you won’t have to redo your installation.
Prevent your conditioned air from escaping through the windows by using window covers and curtains. Installing invisible pelmets (acrylic strip fitted on top of curtain rails) stops air flow through the window.
For single glazed windows, installing secondary glazing is an inexpensive alternative to replacing your windows. The acrylic panel traps a still air space between it and the window to reduce heat transfer in summer and winter.
Other energy-saving measures
If you haven’t already, switch to energy efficient appliances that utilise minimum energy to operate. Purchase appliances with energy-saving settings. Strategise when and how often you should use these appliances to consume less energy.