Preparing for winter

04-Jul-2012

Now is the time to make sure both your own home and your investment property are adequately prepared for the winter (and those energy rate rises).

Heating and cooling account for 38% of household energy use making it the largest consumer of energy in the average home.

Insulation - Repair cracks, fix windows that don’t close properly and invest in a few sand snakes to seal off any draughts by doors. Your tenants will appreciate this if you leave a couple in the investment property too.

Heaters - Radiant heaters predominantly heat people and objects by direct radiation of heat while convection heaters warm and circulate the air in the room.  Why not be covered for all conditions with an inverter air conditioning heater. They are incredibly efficient as they do not loose heating capacity based on the outside temperate. Plus you have the convenience of timers and auto functions to reduce on-time.

Risk - Last year 10% of fires were caused by heaters and fireplaces but many could have been avoided through proper maintenance. It is good practice to check heaters every 2 years. Ask manufacturers or call your gas company for approved inspectors and repairers. You can make heaters run more effectively by cleaning them and keeping doors shut, but remember gas heaters do need adequate ventilation to disburse fumes.

Décor - You might not have the luxury of changing your heavier curtains or rugs but you can add warmth and colour and texture. Adding throw rugs, painting walls, changing the cushion covers or using slip covers can all change the atmosphere.  Ultimately good building design is the best way to ensure efficient heating but of course this is only relevant when building or renovating. For tips on this check out yourhome.gov.au

Different forms of heating are best in different circumstances:

  • In large rooms with high ceilings a combination of radiant and convective heating is best
  • In small rooms convective heating works best
  • In larger draughty rooms or bathrooms radiant heating works best