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10 Energy Efficiency Tips for Winter

The long, dark days of winter are never far away, which means increased costs for your home. With the average household using more energy in winter than in the warmer months, it’s important to find ways for your family to save money and save energy. With increased daylight, the summer is the perfect time to prepare for the winter.

To help, we’ve put together this handy list of 10 things that can help the environment, improve your energy efficiency in the winter, and save money on your next utility bill.

1. Let the sunshine in.

If you’re at home during the day, open up some curtains and let the sun in. North-facing windows (or south-facing if you live in the northern hemisphere) are ideal because they let the maximum amount of winter sunlight into your home.

2. Close off empty rooms.

You can save up to 75% of total heat loss by closing doors to rooms that aren’t being used or don’t need to be heated. Remember, heat is easily lost through exhaust fans and vents, so block off the kitchen, bathroom and laundry.

3. Steer clear of the clothes dryer.

Doing laundry in winter can be a little tricky. Instead of relying on a clothes dryer, try getting your washing on the line earlier to make the most of the daylight hours. If rain is an issue, set up a clothes airer inside or under cover.

4. Keep an eye on your thermostat.

Overheating your home is a big money waster. One of the best ways to increase your energy efficiency in winter is to set your heating thermostat to between 18°C – 20°C. Every 1° C higher can add an extra 10% to your heating costs.

5. Heavy curtains help.

In winter, about 40% of heat is lost through windows. Installing heavy, lined curtains will help stop this heat transference. Make sure the curtain drops below the window frame and, if possible, install a pelmet at the same time for a bit of extra protection.

6. Check for leaks, gaps and missing tiles.

Gaps, cracks and broken tiles can account for between 15% – 25% of the heat lost from your home. Check for gaps around windows, doors, ducts, electrical sockets and recessed lights and use sealant or weather stripping to fix them. Broken, cracked or missing roof tiles also allow a lot of heat to escape. Do a quick check of your roof and organise to repair or replace any tiles that need fixing.

7. Insulate your home.

A well-insulated house will retain warmth in winter and will use up to 45% – 55% less energy to heat. Insulation also greatly improves the energy efficiency of your home. Bulk insulation (like polyester or wool batts) is ideal for winter heating.

8. Rug up.

One of the simplest energy saving tips is to dress a little warmer in the winter months. Throwing an extra blanket on the bed, or wearing a few more layers is more cost effective than using a heater or an electric blanket.

9. Maintain your heater.

It’s a good idea to have your heater professionally inspected and serviced at least every two years. The heating unit should be kept dust free and filters should be regularly cleaned or changed to help maintain efficiency.

10. Switch to CFLs.

Fewer daylight hours means we reach for the light switch a lot more in winter. A great way to combat these extra lighting costs is to replace your old light globes with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). CFLs use less energy to run and can last 10 times longer than standard incandescent light globes.

Energy efficiency in winter is all about keeping the warmth in and the cold out, and even the smallest things can make a difference. By following these simple tips you’ll not only reduce your winter electricity bills from your energy provider but your greenhouse gas emissions too; which is a big win for you and the environment.

Written by AGL Energy; who are actively promoting energy efficiency and endeavouring to help you reduce your carbon emissions and save money on your next utility bill

1 Comment to 10 Energy Efficiency Tips for Winter

  1. Leida's Gravatar Leida
    September 2, 2014 at 4:33 am | Permalink

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