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Slash Your Air Con Bill During One of Australia’s Coldest Winters

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Australia experienced one of its coldest winter periods on record recently, and as much as we all love to keep warm and comfortable during such a time, escalating power costs make a lot of us wonder whether there are ways to minimise energy costs while still enjoying the luxury of our air conditioners.

Whether you’re in a home or an office, there are some simple yet effective things you can do to keep yourself as warm as possible during these cold winters, without breaking the bank! Learning how to keep your home or office space warm naturally means you can still enjoy the heater, but without having to turn it all the way up just to feel comfy. The best part is that these are low cost ways to enjoy maximum warmth.

1. Let sunlight in during the day

During the day, sunlight will naturally filter into a room and warm its temperature. Opening the curtains during the day and allowing as much sunlight in as possible will help keep the environment radiating heat as the sun falls and the cold night sets in. If you’re in an office, the sunlight will also elevate the mood of your workers!

2. Keep the curtains closed at night

Following from the above, you should close the curtains as soon as the sun begins to set. As windows are made of glass, they will cool down faster than the rest of the building, and without curtains providing a buffer, the chill will seep into the space. Thick curtains or blinds are even more effective than thin ones, and if you can stretch the budget it’s also possible to invest in insulated curtains that are designed with the specific intention of providing insulation against cold glass.

3. Seal leaks throughout the building

Leaks leading outdoors or into cold places within the building (such as attics, basements, or car parks) can allow a lot of cold winter air into a building. Identifying these leaks and sealing them is one of the most effective ways of controlling the temperature in a building during winter.

4. Turn down the water heater

Everyone likes a hot shower, and washing their hands in the hottest water possible during winter, but it’s not necessary to heat water to the temperatures that many water heaters do. Turning them down a couple of degrees not only takes a potential hazard out of the home or workplace (and prevents scalding), but can also reduce water heating costs by as much as 10% without actually requiring you to take a colder shower or wash your hands with colder water than normal. So you can still enjoy hot water, just not at an extreme.

5. Insulate your pipes

One of the sneaky ways a building can lose heat is through its pipes. Uninsulated, a pipe that is leaking heat can require substantially more power to bring heat into the home. Even worse, these pipes carry the risk of freezing and bursting, which can be incredibly expensive to fix. If you have uninsulated, visible pipes that are warm to the touch, you should consider getting them insulated.

6. Install a programmable thermostat and keep an eye on it

A lot of people overheat their homes and offices, or have heating systems that are unprogrammable, therefore allowing too much hot air into a room. This can certainly be comfortable to the point where everyone is walking around in t-shirts in the middle of winter, but it can certainly strain the power bill. Installing a thermostat and setting it to 21 degrees celsius is a remarkably simple way to keep a space at a comfortable temperature without relying on excessive power.

7. Insulate the building properly

Properly insulating a building may have an upfront cost, but the savings through both winter and summer can be significant. A properly insulated building can save as much as 45% of a power bill, so it won’t take long for the upfront cost to pay itself off.

8. Cover floorboards

Wooden floorboards are certainly attractive, but they’re also a real heat sink, and some estimates put heat loss from bare floorboards as high as 10%. A simple way to keep a building as warm as possible over winter is to use carpets and rugs to cover floorboards or tiles. Of course, you’ll need to cover the whole floorboard to get the maximum result out of carpet, so ensure you use a filler to seal any gaps around the edges.

Not so hard, is it? Of course, these tips are designed to keep your building as warm as possible, but that’s not to say it’ll be warm enough to stay without a heater. With these in mind, however, you can get as much warmth as possible out of your home or office, without having to turn the heater on maximum.

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