There is nothing so wonderful as turning the key to your house on a frosty winter’s evening, stepping inside and being enveloped by warmth and the smell of dinner cooking in the kitchen.
We all love the welcoming feel of home, but for many of us the reality of costly electricity bills means shivering under blankets in winter and sweltering in front of an inefficient fan in summer.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to keep your home warm during the chilly months and comfortably cool in the heat, which don’t involve taxing the electricity and gas metres.
Join me, as I show you a few tips and tricks to keeping your bills low and your contentment high through any season.
Related: 10 best home improvements for the money
One part of many homes, which is constantly a challenge to keep comfortable, is the outdoor entertaining area. Inadequate protection from the elements often means you freeze in winter, swelter in summer and get buffered about when the wind is blowing above a light puff.
Consider the economics of installing a heat strip.
These streamlined marvels outstrip traditional outdoor gas heaters in effectiveness and economy, saving you a massive 77% to 90% on your energy bills, whilst providing a superior, more efficient heat.
Installing blinds in your outdoor area can address many comfort issues – wind shielding, heat retention and sun blocking. Unfortunately, the cost of many of these are beyond the average consumer, so consider adapting or modifying blinds purchased via online sites such as ebay. Combining a heatstrip with blinds can transform any outdoor area into a year round haven from the elements.
Cooling outdoor spaces can also present a challenge.
Addressing your roofing may be needed as this is where a large percentage of the sun’s rays will be transferring their heat through.
Consider a fan misting system, which provides water based, heat relief.
There are numerous options on the market, which are cheaper alternatives to energy sapping air conditioning.
It may surprise you to know that 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows. Simply installing quality window treatments can lower the temperature of your home by up to 20 degrees and save you $$$ on your energy bills.
Back in the 30’s and 40’s car airconditioners could be bought, which operated by placing cold water in a container on the window and letting the wind do the rest. Adapting this principle to your home by placing iced water near a fan, replicates a refrigerated airconditioner and can provide substantial relief during the hotter months.
Consider having your external windows tinted.
Happy Tint claim that they can reduce heat up to 83%, which directly impacts your cooling costs.
A poorly heater house can feel depressingly bleak to it’s occupants.
Since heating your home’s interior can account for up to 70% of your household energy consumption, finding useful strategies to generate and maintain the heat in your home can make a huge impact on your energy bills.
As with cooling, a great percentage of your heat is lost through your windows. Consider substantial curtains with quality backing or other window treatments which obtain effective coverage.
Companies such as Magnetite offer retrofitted double glazing which keeps your home cool in summer and warm in winter, without the need to change your existing windows.
If turning down your heating by 1 degree lowers your heating bill 10%, then substantial savings can be made by a combining heat loss measures with subtle changes in your thermostat temperature.
It can be difficult to monitor the family’s heating use and those that don’t pay the bills can be somewhat neglectful when it comes to energy saving strategies. It can take some training and perhaps a few signs placed discreetly around the house, to remind them of the energy saving rules such as keeping doors and windows closed.
Money saving experts.com claim that leaving the heat on low during the day to save money, is a myth. Employ the use of a timer to turn the heat on and off for the hours the family is at home. For example, 6pm till 10pm running time equates to only 4 hours per day.
Zoning your home
No matter whether you are looking to heat or cool your home, zoning can save you big money. Ducted heating vents need to be closed in rooms which are little frequented. Close doors to these rooms and ensure that the vents to the ducted heating are closed.
Many people discount the idea that making small changes as those above, can make huge inroads on the cost of your quarterly bills. However, as we have seen, a combined approach can reap real rewards whilst still maintaining your home as a comfortable haven, no matter what the season.