Get your home winter ready: simple energy-saving tips

As autumn deepens into winter and the temperature drops, it’s time to gear up your home for the chilly season. A bit of preparation now can save you money and keep you cozy through the shorter days, and the longer nights. 

Here are some easy and effective ways to boost your home’s energy efficiency this month.

Quick fixes for immediate savings

1. Tune up your home heating system

Before it gets too cold, make sure your heating system is running smoothly. Get your heating systems, and your hot water heater, replaced or fixed. Ensure any reverse cycle systems have clean filters to keep everything running efficiently, and cleanly.

2. Invest in a smart thermostat

A smart thermostat can save you a lot on energy bills. It adjusts the temperature based on your daily routine and the weather, so you only use energy when you need it. Set it to lower the heat when you’re sleeping or not at home.

If you don’t have or can’t afford a smart thermostat, the government’s advice is to keep your thermostat at around 18 to 20 degrees Celsius to achieve maximum energy efficiency. 

3. Stop draughts

Draughts can really hike up your heating bills. Use weather-stripping and caulk to seal gaps around doors and windows. It’s a simple fix that can make a big difference.

4. Use blockout curtains

Blockout curtains are great for keeping your heat in. Open them up during the day to let in some sunlight, and close them at night to keep your warmth from escaping.

5. Adjust your water heater

Set your water heater to 60°C to save on energy. If you have an older model, wrap it in an insulating blanket to reduce heat loss. Lower the temperature when you’re away for a while.

6. Review your energy provider

Based on estimates from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), you could save up to $400 off your household energy bills, while there are a number of energy retailers who have some incredibly strong introductory offers available at the time of writing. For example, Victorians could get up to 35 per cent off the reference price.

Top tip: don’t forget to claim any state and federal government concessions you’re entitled to. Last year, research from The Energy Charter found that 60 per of us didn’t claim the discounts and rebates we were entitled to.

Longer-term investments for smart savings

1. Upgrade your windows

If you have old, single-pane windows, consider upgrading to double-glazed or energy-efficient windows. These help keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer, saving you money year-round.

2. Improve home insulation

Good insulation is key to maintaining your home’s temperature. Check and upgrade the insulation in your attic, walls and floors. It will keep your home comfortable and reduce your heating and cooling costs.

3. Install solar panels

May-July is a great time to plan for solar panels. They can generate your electricity, reduce your energy bills, and you can take advantage of government rebates and feed-in tariffs. Installers are also less busy in winter.

4. Install a heat pump

Heat pumps are efficient for both heating and cooling your home. They work well in moderate climates, making them perfect for many parts of Australia.

5. Keep up with maintenance

Regular maintenance of your home’s energy systems is important in keeping your energy costs down. Clean your solar panels, service your hot water, air conditioning and ventilation systems regularly, and check your home’s exterior to prepare for winter.

Save money and the planet: being energy efficient not only cuts down on your bills, but it also helps the environment. By making these changes, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and promoting a healthier planet.

Take advantage of incentives: look into community programs and government incentives for energy-efficient upgrades to your home. Many local governments offer rebates for things like insulation, energy-efficient windows, and renewable energy systems.

Simple steps now can keep you warm and save you money all season long. Start with easy fixes and plan for bigger investments that will pay off in the long run. Let this be the start of a more energy-efficient and sustainable home – that actually saves you real dollars.

How have you winter-proofed your property? What’s your top tip for keeping energy bills low this winter? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: 60 per cent of eligible Aussies missing out on energy rebates, research finds.

All advice in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your specific circumstances. Always check with a financial professional before making any decisions.

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