No matter where you are in the country, there’s no hiding from the seasons in New Zealand. Alongside unpredictable weather, also comes a time when power bills begin to creep up as we spend more time indoors and use more heating in our homes.
Ensuring you are heating, cooling and running your home efficiently can have immediate impacts on your power bill and health, keeping your homes healthier and family out of the doctors office.
Limit the heat pump use
We know there’s nothing better than curling up under the heat pump watching your fave movie, or blasting the aircon on a hot Summers day. We’re not going to tell you to turn it off, we’re here to tell you how to have your cake and eat it too.
If your air conditioning unit has a timer, make sure to use it! In Winter, turn it on at times when your home is at its coldest, like first thing in the morning or for when you get home from work and ensure it is off when you don’t need it.
The best temperature for energy efficiency and keeping your home warm and dry is between 18 and 21 degrees. Keeping away dampness but is low enough to save power. Changing the temperature often and turning it off and on can waste energy, so consistency is key when using the heat pump in your home.
Draught proof your home
Draught proofing should be the first thing you door when the temperature starts to drop, to ensure none of the precious heat escapes out of any gaps in your windows and doors.
Are your door hinges loose or your window latches rattly? Grab a screwdriver and tighten them up. Better yet, get some adhesive strips for the insides of the window frames to achieve a better seal between the window and the frame.
Reduce excess Moisture
Create and keep a dry, healthy home to hold in heat and keep power bills down throughout the year.
- Airing your home regularly to avoid condensation and moisture build up. If you don’t have a home ventilation system, do this by opening doors and windows for 10-15 minutes each morning.
- Avoid airing damp washing inside. When you don’t have the luxuries of a dryer and the weather is undesirable outside this can be a hard one to avoid, but opt for leaving clothing under a veranda, inside the garage or carport instead of the living room as this adds moisture to your home. If you do have a dryer, ensure the area is well ventilated or better yet, only use it to finish off damp clothing.
- Using extractor fans when cooking and showering. To meet the New Zealand Healthy Homes Standard, extractor fans are a requirement in all kitchens and bathrooms and must ventilate the air outside rather than into your ceiling space. Read more about the specific requirements for ventilating kitchen and bathrooms here [link: https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/files/healthy-homes-standards-ventilation.pdf]
Switch to Energy-Saving Light Bulbs
Making the switch to energy saving light bulbs is a simple and fast way to keep the energy bill down. They cost a little more upfront, but the long-term savings make it worthwhile.
LED bulbs use up to 85% less electricity than your traditional incandescent bulb, and can last 15 times longer – so you won’t have to change them as often!
If every New Zealand household installed LED lighting, we’d avoid 82,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year – the emissions of almost 34,000 petrol cars.
Source: GEN LESS NZ
Explore Solar Energy
Now don’t get put off by this one, the cost of solar power systems have been falling for many years and the savings will make up for the upfront costs over their lifetime of 25 years.
The savings are aplenty, you can sell excess electricity you generate to a power retailer, direct solar power to your big appliances like spa pools, hot water and electric vehicles and are better value for your everyday appliances that remain on during the day while you’re not at home.
The life expectancy is around 25 years with minor maintenance and even work on cloudy days. There are many resources out there for switching to solar in NZ, and the costs may surprise you!
At Green Homes NZ, we’re always looking for ways to build and live with less impact on the planet, saving costs and emissions by using less energy.