Tips to save you money on your energy bills this winter in the Yarra Valley…
Having efficient heating in your home is one of the best ways to keep your energy costs downs. However, there’s definitely other ways to help warm up your house this winter. In fact, it’s just as much about keeping the cool air out as it is about keeping the warm air in.
So, here are some handy tips and tricks to ensure your home is warm and cosy while still keeping the costs down.
1. TRAP THE HEAT INSIDE
Living in the Yarra Valley comes with beautiful autumn (and even some winter) days – frosty mornings, sunny days, and chilly nights. Make the most of mother nature, and let the sun shine into your home during the day! But don’t forget to close the curtains and blinds as the sun goes down. Glass gets cold as the temperature drops, both inside and outside. Closing the blinds is a simple fix, ensuring that cold air is trapped between the glass and the blinds, rather than entering the room. For double the effect, double up on blinds and curtains! For those rooms that you may not use frequently – you can also add bubble wrap to the windows as a cheap form of double glazing.
The more you have on your walls the more insulation you have to trap heat in. Bookshelves, photos etc. all help.
You will be surprised how much heat is lost through your doors, both internal and external. Hot air will try and escape whilst the cold air finds its way in. However, as simple as a door snake can go a long way in fixing the problem, or even just use rolled up towels.
2. CLOSING DOORS AND ZONING
Inside and out! Closing the front door when you duck out to your car is important to avoid heat loss, but also internally. If you’re not going to be using the study, or even the bedrooms for the rest of the day, shut the door. No point heating a room if you are not using it! This is also where you can speak to us at ALPINE about zoning - if you haven’t already got this option, it’s a great way to heat specific areas of your home (at different temperatures, or some rooms and not others).
3. ENSURE SUFFICENT FLOORING
10% of heat loss (or more) can be related to the type of flooring in your home. Carpet is the number one choice for retaining heat, but for those rooms with floorboards, tiles or stone you should invest in a rug. They can keep you warm underfoot, are easily cleaned and are also a great way to add colour and aesthetic appeal to the room.
Check for cracks and gaps around the floors and windows. Floorboards and skirting boards contract and expand as houses age and with everyday use, so it’s quite common for gaps to appear. By filling them with an appropriate filler you cut down on the draughts.
4. FIND YOUR INNER MASTER CHEF
Using the oven during winter can not only put a wonderful smell in the air of hearty food, but it will also heat it up! If you have an open plan living and dining area, cooking is a great way to warm up the air in the area.
5. TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Use your heater efficiently! Don’t run your heater all day especially when you’re not home. If your heater runs on a thermostat, set it to 20-21 degrees and leave it there! While you may be inclined to boost this up to 25-27degrees, optimal temperature is in fact 21degrees. If you don’t have a thermostat on your heater try using a thermometer in the main living area to figure out the temperature. Timers can also be fantastic, setting your heater to switch on 30minutes prior to waking up or getting home means you’ll have a toasty warm house without running your heater at maximum temperature (which can cause it to go into defrost and use a lot of power).
It’s almost inevitable that heating and energy bills increase during winter. But if you follow some of the tips mentioned above you can minimise the need to be blasting heating constantly during the day. All new homes in Victoria and particular the Yarra Valley must have a 6-star energy rating which means having sufficient insulation, double glazed windows etc… and then there’s the smaller things mentioned above, that we can all do; like closing doors and windows, curtains and blinds, to cooking a hearty meal and throwing on a warm blanket and a pair of slippers and spending more time together in the common living zones of your home. It’s easy to minimise your costs and still keep your family snuggly and warm.