woman cosy on couch

Winter is coming!

Cooler weather is here and people are out and about collecting firewood and preparing their homes for winter. Here are a few things that can you do to make a lasting difference to the resilience of your home against rising bills and the weather outside.

  • Seal up those gaps and cracks. Unwanted air leakage is the number one enemy of energy efficiency. A leaky home means that all the money and effort you put in to heat your home leaks out, often ten times or more complete air changes per hour. That is incredibly wasteful. The common culprits are
    • unsealed exhaust fans in bathrooms- use a draft stoppa or fan seal (not for use on 3 in 1 heat/ light /fan combos without modification).
    • gaps around doors and windows
    • gaps around skirting boards and architraves, including inside cupboards
    • wall and ceiling vents in older homes
  • Check your ceiling insulation. You can make a visual check by poking your head inside the manhole and see if the insulation is there and is completely covering the ceiling. It is extremely common to find very thin insulation that is not completely covering the plaster ceiling. Any gaps severely affects the performance of the insulation- just imagine wearing a parka with even a few small tears letting the cold through…. brrrr….. Have an insulation professional fill the gaps and even better, top up the batts with more laid perpendicularly over the top of the ones already there. Aim for at least R3.5 or so.
  • If you have an uninsulated timber floor with at least 600mm crawl space throughout you should get insulation retrofitted. We recommend Autex Greenstuff, a polyester product made in Australia that won’t sag, won’t be damaged by rodents and that will provide effective insulation to help you stay more cosy this winter and every winter for the life of the home.
  • Deal with those single glazed windows. Windows are always the weak link in the “thermal envelope” of your home. A single pane of glass is quite conductive of heat which means the winter warmth you pay for inside your home is leaking out rapidly, even more so if you have the very common, aluminium window frames without a “thermal break”. Installing double glazing is expensive but you can achieve similar results by using heavy drapes with pelmets that stop the draught that occurs as air cools on the window surface, falls and sets up a cold current of air through the room. You can also do “secondary glazing” which involves installing an acrylic sheet on the inside of the window. You can do this yourself or pay a company like Ecoglaze or Magnetite to do it for you.
  • Choose your heating source wisely. Heat pumps are the most efficient, slab heating the least efficient. If you live alone and are on a tight budget, consider using a heated throw rug instead of room heating. They cost about $80 and use only 150watts, very efficient compared to say an electric element heater which would typically be 2000watts.
  • Of course, you can get an assessment and ¬†personalised plan of action from one of our expert assessors too! You can book here.

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