The last few decades have seen energy costs rise everywhere in the world, with energy efficiency eventually becoming a cause of concern. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, last year the average Australian household spent $39 on energy and gas for their homes every week. This comes to more than $2,000 for the entire year. With rising energy costs, more and more home owners are trying to find ways to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
It is always possible to lower your utility bills, but you do have to make certain changes to your home to make it happen. Here are several home improvement for better energy efficiency.
Home improvement tips
1.Plug door and window leaks
The efficiency of your heating and cooling system is reduced when there are leaks in your home that allow cold air to slip into your house in winter, and cooled air to escape during the summer. These leaks can often be found around your doors and windows, although it’s not uncommon for homes to have leaks in the basement or the attic. When you find such leaks, seal them immediately to lower your utility bills at the end of the month.
2.Seal leaky ducts
Gaps, cracks and poor connections in ducts reduce the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 per cent. That is why you need to go hunting for these leaks and seal them with duct sealant as soon as you can. Not only will you be boosting your home’s energy efficiency, but you will also get better air quality as sealing ducts it prevents filthy air from other parts of your house blown into your living spaces.
3.Install a programmable thermostat
You can significantly lower your utility bills if you install a programmable thermostat. When you’re not home or when you’re in bed, set the thermostat to reduce energy and you can save as much as $180 each year according to Energy Star.
4.Replace old windows
It’s possible that your old windows may not be enough to prevent conditioned air from escaping your home. To lower your utility bills, you may have to replace these old windows with higher-efficiency models. These windows come in a variety of materials, but wood-framed models are the best choice when it comes to energy efficiency.
5.Replace old heating and cooling system for energy efficiency
There is always the possibility that your current heating and cooling system itself is the culprit for your rising energy bills. It could be that it is no longer working as efficiently as it did before. If you think that your existing system is already outdated, have a more energy-efficient system installed in its place so you can lower your utility bills.
6.Install a water heater geared for energy efficiency
A water heater may account for as much as 25 per cent of your annual energy usage. This is the reason why it pays to have high-efficiency water heaters installed at home. These days, a tankless water heater is deemed more efficient, as it heats the water only when needed, and does not incur standby losses the way traditional water heaters with storage tanks do.
7.Install more energy efficient light bulbs
If you still have incandescent bulbs in your home, you would do well to replace them with CFL ones. Aside from the fact that they can last six times longer than incandescent bulbs, CFL bulbs also use approximately 70 per cent less energy. It would even be greater if you use LED bulbs, which last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and are 80 per cent more energy-efficient.
8.Insulate your home
Approximately half of the heat that you put into your home is wasted through walls, the ceiling and underfloors. Reduce that heat loss significantly by properly installing good quality installation in the above-mentioned areas. Aside from better energy efficiency, your home will also be warmer, more comfortable and greener if you insulate your home.
9.Install a whole-house ventilation system
By itself, a whole-house ventilation system is not meant to effectively heat a home. However, the fans of a whole-house ventilation system are quite efficient at moving air into your house, providing continuous ventilation at home without having to open doors and windows, no matter what the weather. It is inexpensive to operate, and is capable of recovering 70 to 80 per cent of the heat that’s contained in the indoor air that leaves your home. On top of everything, a whole-house ventilation system helps maintain air quality as it reduces the amount of pollutants and contaminants in your air indoors.
10.Consider solar panels
Few things make a home as energy efficient as solar panels can. For an average Australian household that uses up around 18kWh per day, a 1-2kW solar panel system could help you save about 25-40 per cent of your power cost.
From the looks of things, a growing number of Australians are already aware of this fact. According to The Climate Commission’s Solar Energy report, 2.5 million Australians—more than 10 per cent of the population—now use solar power for their homes. While it is true that solar panels can be an expensive outlay, just think of the energy savings that you will be able to get in the long term.
Generally, you can do these for better energy efficiency yourself. However, if you’re not comfortable taking on this project yourself, there are lots of tradespeople who can help you get the work done. Give us a call and we’ll find a skilled and experienced tradie who works near where you live to give you a hand with your home improvements.