Is your energy bill skyrocketing? We’ve all been there, and it’s not a pleasant feeling. What’s worse is that the Australian Energy Regulator has confirmed the draft electricity price for residential users in NSW to rise by 23.7%. It is effective July 1, 2023. And for Sydneysiders, it only means one thing: it’s time to get serious about energy efficiency.
But what can you do? Should you replace all the bulbs in your house with LED? Is solar energy something for you? What about window treatments, furniture, and appliances?
Breathe. Sometimes it’s the small changes that can have a big impact. Let us share some practical ways of improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Install Ceiling Fans
Installing ceiling fans is an economical way to cool your home and reduce energy costs. Ceiling fans work by circulating air in the room. Because of this, the temperature in the room will remain constant, and you won’t have to worry about running your air conditioning unit all day. However, it’s not a DIY job. There’s a fall risk, and you could get electrocuted. So, get professional help. Fortunately, if you’re looking for a level 2 electrician Sydney offers a lot of options.
And while they are there, request them to take a look at any lighting fixtures you have in the room. Incandescent light bulbs use much more electricity than LED lamps and can be replaced with energy-efficient alternatives.
Let the Natural Light In
Sydney gets about 300 days of visible sunshine (if we count the partly cloudy ones, too) each year. That’s a lot of free energy that you can use to your advantage. Letting natural light into your home should be your first step toward energy efficiency.
Use sheer curtains for your window treatments instead of heavy ones. They look elegant, and they let the light penetrate easily.
You can also maximize the use of natural light by choosing light-colored walls. Greys and whites are popular choices in Sydney. They reflect light and brighten up your home. If you want to go the extra mile, use mirrors. Place them, so they reflect natural light from windows into your living spaces. It’ll also make your space look bigger.
Install High-Performance Windows
It is a more expensive option but pays off in the long run. High-performance windows have special insulation properties that reduce the heat from your house in the summer. It also keeps it warm during the winter. It means you can reduce your heating and cooling costs.
The insulated frames can be of three materials:
- nonconductive wood
We recommend vinyl as it’s the most energy-efficient and cost-effective option. You can get them in various styles and colors, so you needn’t compromise on your home décor.
Use Sustainable Materials When You Can
Sustainably sourced materials are becoming increasingly popular in interior design. They are environment-friendly, cost-effective, and stylish.
Bamboo, cork, and recycled wood are some of the best options for furniture. They are durable and add a unique touch to your décor. You can also find sustainable fabrics like jute and organic cotton for upholstery.
For the floors, you can use bamboo and cork flooring. They are durable, biodegradable, and non-toxic. Plus, they come in a wide range of colors and patterns. Using sustainable materials reduces your carbon footprint and helps preserve resources for the future.
Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances
Electricity bills can shoot up due to inefficient appliances. We are talking about your ACs, dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines. All these appliances use a lot of energy every day. So, make sure to get the energy-efficient ones and be certified by Energy Star.
Also, check for the annual running cost when buying an appliance. For instance, an AC with a high star rating will consume less energy and cost you less in the long run.
You must also unplug all the appliances when not in use. Standby mode still consumes energy and adds to your electricity bills.
Place Rugs and Carpets
One of the most neglected aspects of energy efficiency is insulation. You can reduce your energy consumption by ensuring your home is properly insulated. The good thing is that you don’t always need a smart thermostat or an expensive insulation material.
You can place rugs and carpets on your floors to insulate them. These lifesavers trap the air and keep your floors warm during the winter. They also reduce noise levels, so that’s a win-win!
But don’t just buy the first rug you see. Choose breathable and sustainable materials, like wool or jute.
Also, keep the aesthetic sense intact. For instance, if you have contemporary home décor, don’t buy traditional rugs as they won’t match.
Insulate with Your Furniture
Confused? Well, let us explain. Apart from carpets and rugs, you can use furniture to insulate your home.
For instance, bookcases, armoires, and other pieces of furniture can be placed against the walls. They’ll act as barriers between the outside air and your living space.
Plus, these pieces of furniture also add to the décor and look aesthetically pleasing.
You can also reassemble your furniture for maximum insulation. For instance, put the bed against the wall and cover it with a blanket or quilt for extra warmth. If you have a bookshelf, fill it up with books to block the cold air.
Keep Air Circulation in Mind While Arranging the Furniture
Air circulation is essential for energy efficiency. It keeps your home cool during the summer and warm in the winter. So, make sure to arrange the furniture in a way that allows air to move freely.
For instance, don’t keep the couch close to the heater as it’ll block its convection. Similarly, make sure the doors and windows open easily so that air can come in and out freely.
Having enough negative space and choosing light furniture colors also helps. Light colors reflect the heat, making it easier for the air to circulate.
Also, place your bigger items in a U-shape to keep the air moving. It includes your couch, beds, and armchairs.
Energy-efficient interior design is all about making small changes that have a big impact. Such changes can not only cut down your electricity bills but also make your home more sustainable, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing.
We hope these few tips will help you achieve this goal. So, what are you waiting for? Start making your Sydney home energy-efficient today.