8 Ways To Keep An Energy Efficient Home

shutterstock_244633789

Want to minimise your ecological footprint and save some cash when your bills come around? Don’t worry, you don’t have to fork out thousands of dollars for an expensive solar panel system and Tesla battery right away. There are lots of little things you can do around the home that will minimise your impact on the planet and help you save on expenses as well.

Do your own home energy audit

First things first, it’s time to figure out what uses the most power in your home. Every household is different, and you could be using a lot more power than you realise in certain areas of your home, whether it’s via idle chargers always being left in the wall or an inefficient cooling system. The South Australian government has created a handy online home energy audit system, as well as a hard copy for those who are internet-adverse.

It’s worth looking into and see where your money and power is going. Once you figure out where you have the most room for improvement, you can target your problem areas and become energy efficient as soon as possible.

Get a green-friendly fridge

Your fridge is one of the appliances that is on all the time, so it’s worth it to upgrade to a model that won’t guzzle your power unnecessarily. Also, if you have a bar fridge that you use exclusively for drinks, perhaps you should only switch it on during special occasions that require a cold case on hand. If you’re searching for a fridge that will save power, you should make sure the seals are tight to keep the cold in. You can also set your fridge to the ideal cooling temperatures. The most energy efficient temperature for a fridge is 4-5 degrees Celsius, and a freezer should be set around minus 15 to minus 18 degrees Celsius.

Cull those chargers that are always plugged in

Chargers usually don’t have an ‘off’ switch, so they are often pumping out power into nothing. Sure, it’s mildly more convenient to be able to instantly plug in your phone to a charger, but it’s wasteful. Chargers for your smart devices are the worst culprits here, so be sure that your phone chargers and computer chargers aren’t costing you money unnecessarily. You may also be eligible for a discounted power standby power controller depending on your state’s Energy Saver Incentives. Up to 10% of your power bills may be due to your electrical devices on standby, so quit this wastefulness right now. Many people are unaware that their standby chargers and devices are so  wasteful and money-sucking. It’s the electrical equivalent of not turning off a dripping tap.

Home automation

Have control over your house’s electrical systems no matter where you are. Home automation is especially effective when it comes to expensive systems like heating and cooling, as you can control your air conditioning before you get home according to the climate. This system lets you pre-program your home’s electrical devices according to your schedule, giving you a lot more control and flexibility.

Dress appropriately

It sounds obvious, but many people don’t want to give up living in a t-shirt all year round. Layer up according to the cold outside, and shed your cosy covers when it starts to heat up. As mentioned before, heating and cooling systems are usually the biggest contributor to your energy efficiency rating. You can effectively manage your energy use by managing your layers, and in the long run it will pay in dividends.

Keep the heat or cool where it will get most use.

By trapping your perfect temperature in the room in the house where you’ll use it most, you can seriously capitalise on your energy efficiency. There’s no need to heat or cool the whole house if you’ll only be using a few key rooms. Shut off doors and block draughts to rooms you hardly use, and be sure to have quality curtains or blinds to seal in the temperature.

Insulate

Often one of the most over-looked ways of making homes energy efficient is the improvement of windows and doors. Double glazing your windows and doors is a proven method of retaining heat within a building. In fact a 49% of heat lost during winter and 87% of heat gained in summer is through the windows in your house. Using superior insulation materials such as uPVC or timber will increase your insulation more so. Not to mention in the long run using double glazed doors and windows will add substantial value to your home should you ever want to sell it.

Having quality insulation in your ceiling is a great way to keep your heating and cooling costs to a minimum. Take the plunge if you haven’t done so. If you already have insulation, it could be worth a check that your R-value rating is the right one and that your insulation has been installed the right way.

Tesla batteries and solar panels

These may set you back a fair bit, but if you’ve found your forever home and are serious about living in an energy efficient household, this is an excellent power-saving solution. Get an energy consultant to discuss how to best alternatively power your home, and eventually your bills won’t be recognisable.