Walking around your home with a clipboard and pen completing a home energy audit may not fill most of us with joy, but it’s a simple and effective way to identify where savings can be made. The two most energy-hungry usage types are regulating temperature (40%) and heating water (25%), so this is a great place to start.
7 Questions to ask of your Home Energy use: Temperature Regulation
- Do you only heat rooms that are in use?
- We use different rooms at each time of day, so close doors and keep the heat in.
- In winter, do you open blinds and curtains during the day, but close them at night?
- Window furnishings are decorative insulation
- Heating – do you grab a jumper rather than crank up the thermostat?
- Cooling – during the summer, do you minimise the cooling, keeping the temperature as high as is still comfortable?
- Every 1°C increase in temperature can add 10% to the running costs of your heating appliance
- Do you have an appropriate level of insulation?
- Insulation limits temperature transfer
- Do you maintain your heating appliances so they are efficient and ticking along nicely?
- Inefficient appliances waste energy, maintain optimum performance
- Are any gaps between doors and windows sealed from draughts?
- Look for light around doors and windows, skirting boards or feel for air flow with a wet finger
If you answer yes to these questions you’re passing your audit with flying colours…onto the next energy usage question: Water Heating.
- Do you shower for 4 minutes or less?
- Save a minimum 9 nine litres of water for every minute cut from showering time
- Is your hot water system energy efficient?
- Choosing the right hot water system can save you money
- Are external water pipes well insulated?
- Foam tubing can be cheaply purchased from hardware stores
- Is the flow rate of your shower head nine litres per second or less?
- Measure the water flow of your shower: Take a bucket and a stopwatch. Run the shower for 10 seconds and measure the amount of water in the bucket. Times this figure by 6 to obtain ‘volume per minute’.
- Do you have no dripping taps?
- A dripping tap can waste 20,000 litres per year
Water heating is commonly responsible for 25% of home energy usage, so keeping this under control goes a long way to keeping saving power.