Winter can be one of the most expensive times of the year. We speak to some industry experts to discover how to save money on your winter energy bill
The days are shorter and colder, and we’re spending more time indoors. Winter can be a burden on your electricity bill, but that doesn’t mean it should be. There are several tips and tricks you can use to ensure your power is well managed throughout this cooler season.
Here are just a few of our favourite ways to save money on your winter energy bill:
1. Prevent heat escaping from the home while warming it
“If you are using heaters, remember is to position them away from windows, and to keep curtains drawn while they’re on. That way the heat won’t easily escape,” Angus Kidman, the editor-in-chief from finder.com.au, says. “And you don’t have to have your heating running at the highest heat setting. Set it somewhere between 17 and 19 degrees to keep the temperature bearable without driving up your power bill.”
In addition to this, it’s recommended to close off rooms you’re not using and draw curtains to prevent the heat escaping.
2. Check the temperatures of your hot water and refrigeration systems to avoid wasting energy
Another way to save on your power this winter is to get your hot water system checked. “Get your hot water heater checked to ensure it is only heating the water to 60C (for storage hot water systems, or 50C for instant hot water). Anything above that is a waste of power in a general home situation,” Anthony Bedrosian, managing director of Service Heroes, says.
“To prevent scalding, the water should be set to come from the tap at 50C. Consult your plumber to test this and install a tempering valve if you need one.”
Anthony also recommends checking your refrigerator temperature. “Anything below 3 to 5C is a waste of energy. And defrost your freezer, as it works more efficiently without a build-up of ice.” What an easy and economical way to prepare for the season ahead!
3. Use your home lighting more efficiently to save on the winter energy bill
The days are certainly cooler in this season, but they’re shorter, too. That means we can be tempted to reach for that light switch more often, which can result in bigger electricity bills. “Before you reach for the candles to save the lights, switch to energy-efficient light bulbs like CFC and LED. They cost more to purchase but the increased price is offset by low energy use (up to 1/5 of a traditional incandescent bulb and half the equivalent halogen bulb) and increased longevity,” Anthony says.
There is of course another way to save on lighting. This is simply to make sure you switch off your lights when you leave the room. Also, consider whether you really need to have all lights in the one space on. “Modern homes often have various lights in one space, such as an open-plan living room. Take a minute to assess if you need all the lights on in the kitchen and dining are if you’re just watching TV in the lounge,” Anthony says.
One last tip from the Service Heroes guru is to utilise your dimmer switch and prolong the use of your globe. “Install dimmers and reduce by 5 per cent from the maximum. The eye won’t notice the difference but the globe won’t be used its maximum, increasing its lifespan.”
Want to see more great ideas for your home? Why not check out these 6 Incredible Eco-Friendly House Ideas.
Originally in Winter Warmth Issue 9