Feeling surprised at the cold weather lately, but more shocked by your high power bill? Here’s some simple tips from EECA Energywise to help you save on energy and keep your house warm and dry.
1. Slash hot water use
Taking shorter showers can really save you cash in the winter months. A 15-minute shower costs around $1, a 5-minute shower around 33c. A family of four might save around $18 a week just by taking shorter showers. That’s a total of $900 a year.
Do your washing with cold water. A hot-water wash can use 10 times more electricity than a cold one.
Check your showerhead too. If you can fill a 10-litre bucket in less than a minute, your showerhead’s wasting water.
2. Keep your heated towel rail in check
If you have a heated towel rail, only use it when needed. A heated towel rail left on around the clock can cost you $170 per year. You can buy timers for towel rails that come on automatically at certain times of the day. Turn off appliances at the wall when they’re not in use.
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3. Block out those draughts
If cold draughts are whistling through your home, technical expert Christian Hoerning suggests putting low-cost draught-stop tape around windows or doors, and tightening up the hinges on doors and windows. Or just use a door snake – you can get these from hardware or homeware stores, or make your own. Draw your curtains at dusk to keep the heat in.
4. Clean the filters
Clean the filters on your heat pump or dehumidifier so they run properly.
Heat pump filters should ideally be cleaned every few weeks during winter because they can get clogged, Hoerning says.
5. Run the dehumidifier
If you own a dehumidifier, run it while you are heating the room.
“Dehumidifiers work best in warm rooms and all the electricity they use gets released as heat - so your heater needs to do less work,” Hoerning says in a press release.
6. Air your home
Hoerning says it’s important to avoid lots of moisture in the home over winter because it increases the risk of mould. Air your home by opening windows and doors a few times a day, even in winter, he says.
Dry clothes outside, or in a clothes dryer that is vented to the outside. Avoid using indoor airing racks or clothes dryers that vent into your house. The moisture in the clothes will end up in your home, making it damp.
Sleep with your bedroom window open a crack to let out the moisture that naturally builds up through the night. This will help ventilate your bedroom.
Check your home’s insulation to make sure it’s up to scratch and hasn’t been moved over the summer.
If your house isn’t insulated, or the insulation is old or needs topping up, you’ll struggle to stay warm.
If you’re a homeowner on a low income, you might be eligible for money to help you pay for insulation. Check here.
8. Check your fireplace
You’ll get a lot of draughts roaring through an unused chimney. Block the chimney with a rubbish bag filled with shredded newspapers. But beware – make sure no one tries to light the fire while the chimney is blocked.
9. Cheap heating
Avoid un-flued gas heaters, which can release toxic fumes and make your house damp. Cheap portable electric heaters are safer – and cost less to run.
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First published 1 July 2019
Content provided by EECA Energywise
Pie Funds Management Limited is the issuer of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme. You can read our Product Disclosure Statement here. This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. We recommend you speak with a financial adviser. All content is correct at time of publication date.