The colder months are approaching and with the drop in temperature, you’ll be tempted to use your heater more and more. But staying warm and comfortable doesn’t need to be expensive, here are some ways you can reduce your energy bills this year.
Weatherstrip the home
You’ll need to think about which type of weatherstrip will work for each location in your home. Rolled or reinforced vinyl is the best option when it comes to door or window stops — it’s easy to apply, especially if you purchase self-adhesive varieties. If you’re looking for a long-lasting option, use metals like bronze, copper, stainless steel and aluminium. And remember, you can use more than one type of weatherstripping to seal an irregularly shaped space.
Seal window and door frames
Even if you weatherstrip the home, draughts can still occur if you have any gaps and cracks around windows and door frames. According to energy.gov.au, caulk is the best material to use when it comes to cracks and gaps on walls and doors which are less than a quarter inch wide. You’ll need about a half-cartridge of caulk per window or door. If you’re only fixing a small crack, you can pick up a squeeze tube mini applicator from Bunnings.
Double glazing uses two panes of glass, separated by a spacer bar around the outside of the glass. The bar creates a small air gap between the panes, and this creates an insulation break between the inside and outside of the window. Installing double glazing is one of the most effective ways to regulate thermal temperatures in your home, but doing so retroactively can be expensive. Australian company Magnetite’s innovative technology has been tested by the National Acoustic Laboratories and the Window Energy Rating System in line with National Fenestration Rating Council regulations and the good news is, the product is considerably less expensive than completely replacing the window.
In winter, heat flows from warmed spaces to adjacent unheated attics, garages, basements and even through the ceilings and walls. To offset this heat escaping, homes require insulation but unfortunately, many older Australian homes lack adequate insulation in these spaces.
If you find the temperature in your home fluctuates room to room, then you should look at retrofitting more insulation. You can do this yourself, but if you’re worried about damaging your home unnecessarily then it’s best to hire a professional. Once you discover how efficient your insulation is, you’ll need to decide what kind of insulation you’d like to add. Fibreglass and plastic fibred batts and rolls (known as blanket insulation) are the easiest to install yourself but if you want to look at sustainable options, it’s best to talk to an expert.
Of course, if you’re buying a brand-new home in a new neighbourhood, your residence and all of its integrated appliances and hot water systems will be compliant with the latest energy efficiency ratings — so you’ll be saving money from the moment you move in.