1. Insulate ceilings
Installing insulation into your ceiling could save you up to 40 per cent of heating and cooling costs. Insulation is designed to reduce heat transfer and your ceiling is the number one place accounting for almost 35 per cent of heat loss or gain. Where you have existing insulation that is level with the ceiling joists, you can install additional insulation over the top. It is recommended that this is installed at right angles to the existing insulation.
2. Insulate external and internal walls
Installing insulation in internal and external walls could save you up to 25 per cent of heating and cooling costs. Not only is insulation designed to reduce heat transfer but will also act as a good sound barrier preventing unwanted noise from travelling between rooms and from external surroundings. If you can’t afford to insulate the whole house, pick one room to fully insulate creating an energy efficient compartment.
When selecting your wall insulation take the opportunity to use the highest R-value possible for your cavity. Unlike ceiling insulation, you are unlikely to get a second opportunity to insulate your walls. Regardless of the product you end up selecting make sure that you complete a quality install ensuring there are no gaps, tucks and folds in the insulation as these can affect the insulation and undermine the potential thermal performance.
The acoustic performance of internal walls is best achieved by filling the cavity with the highest density product available. If budgets dictate don’t leave the cavity empty, the introduction of a low density insulation will significantly increase the acoustic performance of the walls.
3. Upgrade your appliances
If you plan on upgrading your appliances look for the ones with an energy rating label. The appliances are rated with stars from 1-10 on fridges, freezers and TVs and 1-6 for all other white goods. Remember, the higher the star rating the higher the energy efficiency and potential saving on your energy bill.
4. Double glazed windows
Double glazed windows will help to reduce solar and conductive heat gain. Windows account for up to 40 per cent heat loss and an even higher 87 per cent heat gain.
5. Seal gaps
Reduce your energy bills by up to 25 per cent with one of the easiest upgrades for your home. The most common areas for air leakage are poorly sealed windows and doors, unsealed vents, skylights and exhaust fans, draught proof these areas and save.
6. Use energy efficient light bulbs
LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than standard incandescent light bulbs and can last more than 15 times longer. By switching to energy-efficient LED lighting, you could cut your household lighting costs by 50%.
7. Purchase a 3-star rated showerhead
Save up to 14,500 litres of water per year by installing a water-efficient showerhead. Standard showerheads can use up to 25 litres per minute while a 3-star showerhead will use no more than 7 litres per minute saving approximately $75 per year on gas bills.
8. Install water storage units
A grey water system and/or rainwater storage tanks are a good way to reduce your household’s water consumption. Stored rainwater can be used for multiple domestic uses such as toilet flushing, clothes washing and gardening. Water tanks are available for underground and above ground use and come in different shapes, sizes and material to suit your requirements. Not all local Councils will permit grey water systems, so check first before installing.