It doesn’t take much to create a more energy efficient home. With just a few small changes (that hopefully lead to bigger ones), you can reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the same time.
Mother Nature and your wallet will both thank you!
What does energy efficient mean?
Before we dive in, let’s define what we mean when we use the term ‘energy efficient’. It simply means using less energy to perform the same tasks you normally would, such as the washing, travelling and cleaning, to name a few examples. By definition, to be energy efficient is to reduce or eliminate energy waste.
What makes a house energy efficient?
The home’s structure and functions are two of the key factors in what makes a home energy efficient. While the structure of a home (walls, flooring, ceiling, etc.) may be more difficult to change, the heating, cooling, lighting and water systems may be easier to adjust for optimal energy efficiency.
How to be energy efficient: 5 tips
- Choose cold water
- Ditch the dryer
- Change your bulbs
- Give the garden a makeover
- Invest in insulated window coverings
When it comes to washing your clothes, make the switch to cold water instead of warm or hot (when possible). An estimated 70 to 90% of all the energy your washing machine uses goes to warming up the water, so switching to colder water can significantly reduce your energy bill. Plus, washing in cold water prevents your clothes shrinking, fading or wrinkling.
The clothes dryer can be are incredibly convenient, especially when it’s pouring with rain outside! But by simply letting the sun dry your washing instead of the dryer, you can shave a decent chunk off your energy bills. Perth is one of the sunniest cities in the world, so even if it’s not summer, it’s pretty easy to get your clothes dry any time of year.
Second to natural light, fluorescent lights are an affordable lighting choice. Even though these lights cost a little more up front, they can last up to 12 times longer than a regular incandescent bulb, so, it can be worth making the switch in your home. Another easy way to use less energy is to simply switch off lights and other appliances when they’re not in use.
Take a look around your front or backyard and think about how the existing trees or shrubs affect the light in your home throughout the year. Too many bushy trees can keep the sun out of your home, making it feel colder inside. If this is the case, it might be worth getting out the garden shears and giving your greenery a good pruning. On the flipside, if you don’t have any trees that are protecting you from the harsh sunlight, consider talking to a landscaper about planting trees that can provide more shelter from the sun. With the right plants placed in the right locations, it’s an effective way to reduce summer heat.
Over 30% of heat is lost during the winter and gained in the summer via your windows, so insulating this part of your house is a smart place to start. Double glazed windows are ideal for insulation, as they’re an incredibly effective way to manage heat gain and heat loss throughout the year. The only downside to double glazing is that it can be quite expensive. The next best option is installing window blinds, thermal curtains, shutters or awnings, as their heat reflective design can keep the sun out of your home and keep it cooler.
Energy efficient window treatments
Popular indoor window coverings such as Roman blinds, curtains, roller blinds, vertical blinds, day and night blinds and panel blinds can all be customised with insulating blockout fabric. The thick fabric that makes up blockout blinds is great for keeping your home at a more comfortable temperature during the winter and summer months.
Get more info on blinds and curtains that provide thermal insulation here.
Outdoor blinds such as auto awnings are also great to install on the outside of the window, as they help to stop heat from passing through the glass. You can find out more about the best outdoor blinds and awnings for summer sun protection here.
Want to learn more about insulated window coverings? Give us a call on 13 13 15, visit one of our showrooms or arrange a free measure and quote with one of our highly-trained consultants in your own home.