How to make your home use less energy

In a time where our energy bills are going up, it makes sense to look at how we can save energy in our day to day living at home.

Start by looking at where you are losing most energy, it might be an idea to purchase a smart meter to better understand your energy usage. This displays the household real-time usage info, including kWh use and cost.

Windows and doors are often energy culprits – do they seal properly? Look at adding rubber or felted seals around doors – bought cheaply from any hardware store. Glass loses heat readily, consider curtains internally, best would be two layers of fabric for the added insulation. Any expanse of west, north and east glazing will do well with external protection, especially where there are hard surfaces in the vicinity such as brick walls or paving. Consider shade sails, louvres and for East and West evergreen canopies that can assist in protection from the low lying sun.

Have you got adequate insulation in your ceiling and walls? Good ceiling insulation will help maintaining even indoor temperatures throughout the year. Ensure bulk insulation is packed well without being compressed and dispersed evenly without gaps.

How are your appliances functioning? Has your fridge/freezer got good seals? You’d be surprised at how much energy a fridge can use if this is not the case! When buying new appliances look at the energy rating. Don’t look at the star rating exclusively but also the actual kWh usage. What water heating device do you use? There are fabulous rebates in place should you consider swapping from an electric heated system to a Solar Hot water unit.

Look at your lighting – do you still have the dreaded halogens installed? These can easily be exchanged for LED replacements which can be bought at any hardware store or lighting shop and installed by yourself. Consider installing ceiling fans – they are very energy conservative as well as effective for cooling.

Once you have given your home a once over it would be worthwhile looking at installing a photo voltaic system. There are 2 systems; stand alone and micro inverted. They both have pros and cons so make sure you do your homework to ensure you get a system that best fits your situation. Storage batteries are currently getting both better and cheaper so again do your research when you are ready to consider this option.

Finally, keep in mind; there is nothing as energy efficient as a well-designed home. It is however worthwhile to consider the above suggestions to any home to make a difference, both to the hip pocket as well as the comfort of our homes.