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Stay cosy and save money

With the cold weather sweeping across the country, it is the time to start thinking about the best way to make your home cosy this winter without breaking the bank.

Heating a home can cost a lot of money in energy usage, so experts from consumer body Choice have put together some tips.

“Heating costs can cause a significant spike in your electricity bill, but luckily there are lots of easy things you can do around your house to keep the heat in and save money,” says Chris Barnes, Choice heating expert.

Here are Choice’s top tips for keeping your home warm this winter:

1. Decide which heating option best fits your budget

“Based on running costs alone, reverse-cycle air conditioning is easily the cheapest way to warm your home”, says Barnes.

“Our estimates show that a reverse-cycle air conditioner will cost only a little more to run for the entire year than an electric heater will cost to run just for three months over winter.”

If you’re renting or don’t have a spare couple of thousand dollars available to install reverse-cycle air conditioning, a portable electric heater is a convenient option with low upfront costs. They don’t require installation and prices typically start at about $30.

“Unfortunately, portable electric heaters are not energy-efficient and our lab tests show they can cost a lot to run”, Barnes says.

“However, there are a number of simple things you can do at home to reduce the need to run your portable heater so frequently – sometimes it’s as easy as closing a curtain.”

2. Track and seal draughts

Tracking down the draughts in your home and sealing them up will keep your home warmer, and help save money on energy bills. If you’re having trouble detecting where the draughts, light a candle or incense stick and run it along the gaps under doors and around windows. A draught will become obvious as the flame flickers or smoke blows around.

“There are a few ways to seal up any draughts that you find in your home”, Barnes suggests. “You can buy weather seal tape or draught strips from your local hardware store to fill gaps, or you can use a good old-fashioned door snake.”

3. Use curtains

“Did you know that up to 40% of heating energy can be lost through your windows?”, Barnes asks. “Closing your curtains or blinds can make a big difference when it comes to keeping warmth inside your home.”

4. Switch ceiling fans to reverse

Switch fans to reverse or winter mode, and use them in combination with your heating system. This will help to spread the hot air more evenly throughout your home, and will make sure that it’s not just hanging around the ceiling.

“Our lab tests found that using your ceiling fan in reverse means that your heater has to do far less work – which means lower power consumption, and lower bills,” says Barnes.

5. Ask your energy provider for a better deal, or switch to a new one.

“If you’ve been with the same energy provider for a while, it’s a good idea to call and ask them if they can give you a better deal”, Barnes says, adding that you can also compare energy plans using Energy Made Easy or Victorian Energy Compare, depending on what state you’re in.

About Adam Nobel

Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA

adam@hugoalexander.com.au

0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 20 years experience in property investment, and 14 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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