Heaters, air cons and split systems are very common fixtures in homes across Australia. Unfortunately, they are also up there with dryers as the appliances that put the most strain on our energy bills.
Image from samsung.com
One of the many benefits of a new Thrive Home is that the roof, walls and floors are already well insulated with R2.0 insulation. Thanks to insulation and smart design, you’re already taking a step in the right direction when it comes to reducing your energy costs. Your money is better invested in a well designed, energy efficient building than spent on excess heating and cooling!
However, as we’re coming into winter we’re still going to be switching on our heaters. We’re taking a look at how you can use your heating appliances without your bills getting out of control.
1. Choose the right size (kW).
It’s crucial, especially when it comes to split system heater/coolers, that your unit is the right size for the space it’s in. Modern split systems are designed to switch off when the room has reached the desired temperature. If the unit is too small, it won’t be powerful enough to bring the room to temp and will run constantly, churning through energy as it struggles to do the job. If the unit is too big, the room will reach the temp too quickly (before it goes through the entire cycle it’s designed for), and turn off - then as the space cools down, turn back on again and repeat the process. This on-off-on-off process not only wastes energy, but also decreases the lifespan of the unit.
For a simple and informative guide on the right size for you, check out this heater buying guide.
2. Invest in a ceiling fan.
As we know, hot air rises and as it falls, it cools. This means we’re left sitting in the cooler pocket of air (and turning up the heat) while all the warm air hangs out near the ceiling. You’ll need a fan with some kind of winter mode (most modern fans have this function). This reverses the direction of rotation, preventing the cooling draft that we’re looking for in summer and instead gently mixing the heated air as it rises. At Thrive, we offer ‘Tempo’ 48” ceiling fans which feature All Seasons Technology as one of our affordable upgrade options - perfect for both winter and summer.
3. Rethink your temp settings.
It’s recommended that in winter, we keep our heaters set to no more than 20°. For every one degree increase, you’re adding 10% to the amount of electricity the unit is using, which over a quarter really adds up. You might think that 20° isn’t going to be warm enough - but when it’s 10° outside, 20° is going to feel balmy by comparison! If you’re still feeling a bit chilly, rethink turning the heat up those extra degrees and grab a blanket instead. See here for some interesting info on how much you could save by keeping your thermostat in check.
4. Don’t leave it on overnight.
There are plenty of ways to stay warm in bed without resorting to leaving your heater on overnight - and try to stay away from heated mattress pads and electric blankets, too! Instead, place a thick, warm blanket on top of the mattress (or on top of the mattress protector, if you use one). Swap your light summer sheets for something warmer - flannel sheets are amazing. Then, invest in a winter doona such as wool or microfibre. Target have an affordable range. Finish it off with another warm blanket, and your bed is winter ready! If you need some additional warmth, grab some bedsocks and a hot water bottle. Carpet in the bedrooms always helps, too. At Thrive Homes, carpet comes as standard.
5. Don’t heat rooms you’re not using.
Sounds simple, but so many of us turn the heating on to warm the whole house, including bathrooms and bedrooms, when all we’re doing is watching TV in the lounge. Walk around the house and close all the doors you can to rooms or spaces you’re not using. Don’t turn on the heater in the bedroom as soon as you get home, turn it on just before you go to bed (and don’t forget to turn it off again before you go to sleep!).
We hope these tips will help you save on your heating bills this winter, while still making sure you and your family stay cosy at home. If you have any questions about the design of our Thrive Homes in relation to heating and cooling, or are interested in having heating & cooling appliances installed in your Thrive Home, get in touch with us and our experts will happily answer your questions.