Energy security is a big deal in Australia these days. Whether it’s rising electricity prices, Elon Musk’s big battery in South Australia, Snowy Hydro 2.0 or the ongoing debate about the viability of renewables, it’s safe to say that the energy issue is not going away any time soon. In light of this, more and more people are looking to increase the energy efficiency of their homes to both reduce their carbon footprint and also save money on power bills. Using a wall panel construction system when building your house is a great way to achieve this straight off the bat, but even if you’re living in a more conventionally constructed home there are lots of things you can do right now to increase its energy efficiency so you can do your bit for mother nature and relieve some stress on your hip pocket at the same time.
Improve Your Insulation
This is the most important thing you can do to increase your home’s efficiency as a significant percentage of energy consumption in a typical home is used on regulating the temperature. Poor insulation literally means your house is leaking energy (in the form of heating or cooling), so the more you can do to keep it in the better. You can have a go at doing this yourself or have an insulation expert come in and handle the job. Whatever costs you incur doing so are highly likely to be saved in reduced energy bills in the long run. Think of it as short term pain for long term gain.
Replace Your Windows
Unlike countries with more extreme weather (like snowy Scandinavia for example), most Australian houses are fitted with single pane windows with aluminium frames. This means that they are responsible for a lot of energy transfer (the leaking of energy that we talked about before) and result in higher power usage to heat and cool the building. Installing double pane windows with vinyl frames is another way of increasing the insulation of your home and keeping that precious heating and cooling inside where you need it.
Use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs)
Did you know that up to 90% of the energy used by traditional incandescent bulbs goes into producing heat rather than light? Yep, they’re staggeringly inefficient. Although more expensive, fluorescent bulbs use far less energy and last up to 12 times as long, so again, it’s a case of short term pain for long term energy gain.
Choose Energy Efficient Appliances
Modern life is built around appliances. Just think of how many times you use your TV, fridge, washing machine, clothes dryer and dishwasher in a typical week. Choosing appliances with a high energy star rating can massively contribute to increasing your energy efficiency. Although they might cost a bit more in the beginning, it’s an investment that will pay dividends over time.
Starting to see a pattern here? All it takes to massively increase the energy efficiency of your home is the investment of a bit of time, effort and money in key areas. If you do so you’ll be rewarded with lower power bills going forward and thus be insulated against any electricity price hikes. You’ll also be doing your bit to combat climate change by having a smaller carbon footprint, so it’s definitely a win win situation.