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Energy saving tips for your home

Appliances

Replace and recycle your old refrigerator and purchase energy-efficient models. Units more than 10 years old have been shown to use two to three times more electricity than a new energy rated model. If not, at least defrost older refrigerators and freezers before ice build up becomes 10 mm thick.

When buying new appliances, be sure to purchase energy-efficient models with as many stars as possible.

If your hot water is heated by renewable energy make sure your dishwasher and washing machine are using this rather than letting them heat their own water. Even using hot water from your off peak electric system will be more efficient and more cost effective than letting these appliances heat their own.

Set your hot water heater thermostat at 60 degrees or normal if possible.

Wash only full loads in a dishwasher and use the shortest cycle that will get your dishes done.

Fix defective plumbing or dripping taps. Did you know a single dripping hot water tap wastes over 1000 litres of water a month? That not only increases water bills, but also increases the gas or electric bill for heating the water.

Installing Standby Power Controllers for your computer and entertainment appliances can help save up to 10% of energy usage by sensing the lower power usage of "standby mode" and switching items off completely, as if they were switched off at the power point.

Heating and Cooling

Install shades, awnings or sunscreens on windows facing north and/or west to block the hot summer sun. In winter, open shades on sunny days to help warm rooms. The right window coverings will keep the warmth in winter on those grey days and the heat out on those extremely hot summer days.

Seal windows, doors and anywhere air leaks in or out, add weather strips around windows and doors.

Consider replacing windows with double glazed versions.

Wrap heating and cooling ducts with duct wrap, or use mastic sealant.

Set the air-conditioner thermostat at 24 degrees or higher, in summer and at 21 degrees or lower in winter.

If your old air conditioner is on its way out replace it with a split system inverter unit with as many stars in its energy-efficiency rating as possible.

Clean or replace heater and air-conditioner filters regularly, following manufacturer's instructions.

Arrange for installation of energy rated insulation to your ceilings. If you are renovating and re-plastering or installing new walls take the opportunity to insulate them too.

Lighting

When you're considering what colour to paint your house interior and what window coverings to use, consider how much light can be gained by using light colours for walls and window coverings, which allow the maximum possible light penetration throughout the day.

Use compact fluorescent bulbs or LED's. You can lower your lighting bill by converting to energy-efficient low-wattage compact fluorescent or LED lighting and fixtures. The light generated by modern versions is very acceptable. If you have lots of 12volt halogen lights, you are burning way more electricity than you need to and adding significant heat loads to your house.

Do you have any tips to share?

We are always looking at ways to save energy, so if you have any energy saving tips you'd like to share please them with us on our Energy Blog page through Facebook.