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Reduce Your Energy Bills

April 20, 2021
Freedom Solar & Batterie

This month I would like to just have a brief chat about making the most of the energy that you use, minimising waste. This is totally applicable to households that don't have solar (Yet) as well as solar households. I think that, deep down, most of us know what we need to do but just need a couple of hints and tips to help along the way. We first need to look at the air movement in the home

Are there a lot of cold draughts in winter? Do you struggle to keep the house cool in summer? 

What is happening is that the air movement through the house is also moving your warm or cool air away from where you want it to be. Check the gaps around your doors. Do your windows seal properly? All that warm air that you have (whether it's created by electricity/gas or wood fire) is just blowing straight out through your door and window gaps. A quick trip to your local hardware store, and you find self-adhesive door seals that are easily installed around the door jambs. Start with the front and back doors first. But don't stop there. You may have sections or rooms in the house that you don't regularly use. There is no point heating or cooling those rooms as well, so seal those door frames.

If you heat a room that you are not using, it is totally wasted energy. Would you pour a cup of tea with no intention to drink it?

Do you have insulation in your ceilings and walls? Heat rises, so all that warm air you have just spent money heating simply radiates up through your ceilings into the roof cavity. You end up with all your heat just dissipating to the sky. 

A lot of older homes with timber floors get a lot of cold draughts up through the floor timbers. This can be alleviated by insulation under the floor. There are some great new products on the market that makes this a much easier and cheaper project for a DIY'er. I have even seen some expandable spray on products which are very easy to apply (just make sure you don't want to use those overalls again).

My last point I want to make is your lighting. All those spec' built homes that were built through the '90s and 2000's had Halogen globes by the dozens installed throughout. We went from having 1 or 2 incandescent globes in each room, to going crazy with these new halogens. They looked great, flush fitting and you could do things with lighting in the home that couldn't be done before.

The catch is, they are typically 45watts each. Now that's only half of the old globes we used to use at 90-100watts. But where we only used to have 1 or 2 in a Room. We put 8-10-12 into a single room. We have houses with 100's of these things fitted. Let's say you have 60, (we even find them in our cupboards and display cabinets). If you go and count them, you will be surprised. At 45watts each, that's 2700watts (or 2.7kW) in energy needed to turn them all on. Compared to the old days where we might have had 15 x 90 watt incandescent globes in a house. That's 1350watts in total (or 1.35kW) - half the energy needed to run the home just in lighting. Just think about this scenario. Leave all these lights on for 10 hours a day, that's 27kW/hrs used per day to simply run the Lights. Let's say you are on a flat rate with your power company of 32 cents per kW/hr. That's $8.64 per day or $777 every 3 months. 

Now we have LED. These are typically between 6-9Watts each. 60 x 9 watt LED's will use 540watts (or 0.54kW's). Switching to LED lights will make a massive difference to your energy consumption for lighting. Leave all these on for 10 hours a day. That's 5.4kW/hrs per day and going to cost you $173 per day or $156.00 for 3 months, that a bit of a difference isn't it. Some people tell me that LED light globes are a bit expensive to buy, but I think they pay for themselves quite quickly on those numbers. So, don't just think about how often you leave your lights on, it's also just as important as to what type of light globes you use.

Hope this helps you save some of your hard earned money.

Plug into the SUN, Cameron.

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