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Home Energy Audits: Temperature Regulation and Water Heating

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

  1. 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.
  2. In winter, do you open blinds and curtains during the day, but close them at night?
    • Window furnishings are decorative insulation
  3. Heating – do you grab a jumper rather than crank up the thermostat?
  4. 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
  1. Do you have an appropriate level of insulation?
  • Insulation limits temperature transfer
  1. Do you maintain your heating appliances so they are efficient and ticking along nicely?
  • Inefficient appliances waste energy, maintain optimum performance
  1. 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.

  1. Do you shower for 4 minutes or less?
  • Save a minimum 9 nine litres of water for every minute cut from showering time
  1. Is your hot water system energy efficient?
  • Choosing the right hot water system can save you money
  1. Are external water pipes well insulated?
  • Foam tubing can be cheaply purchased from hardware stores
  1. 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’.
  1. 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.

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