Winter is just around the corner – that makes now the time to check out a few simple ways to stay cosy without overheating your power bill.
Energy supplier Ausgrid estimates that home heating accounts for about 22% of household energy costs. So rather than automatically reaching for a heater, try adding an extra layer of clothing when the weather turns chilly. Or find someone warm to cuddle up to.
Okay, that’s not always practical. But do take the time to consider just how warm your home needs to be. It may be tempting to switch reverse cycle air conditioners into overdrive – after all, there’s nothing like thumbing your nose at winter by roaming the house in shorts and a t-shirt. But it will cost you. If your thermostat is set at more than around 21 degrees (Celsius) you’re overheating your home, and that’ll mean a scorching power bill.
Match the space with your heater
Importantly, select a heater that’s appropriate for the space you’re aiming to heat. Gas heaters may cost a bit more upfront though they are among the most energy efficient appliances. Ausgrid estimates a flued gas heater can cost just $159 in annual energy bills. By comparison, an electric radiant heater (the sort with bars that heat up), can be cheap as chips to purchase but you could get burnt by annual running costs of around $471.
A surprising amount of heat can be lost through windows, and for a relatively small outlay it possible to trim energy bills by covering windows with curtains or drapes. Door snakes, which are great for preventing cold draughts and heat loss, can be picked up for just a few dollars.
Maybe the cold isn’t so bad
Finally, if you’re hoping to shed a few kilos this winter, it could be worth skipping the heaters altogether. A 2011 study published in the journal Obesity Review, found our cosy homes could be contributing to obesity because quite simply, we burn more energy when we’re cold. Could be food for thought while you’re sipping a warming hot chocolate.
Got any tips to stay warm on the cheap this winter? Be sure to share them in the comments below!
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