Keeping your home at a comfortable level can be quite expensive in dollars, energy and pollution.
There are two major areas to look at when thinking about controlling the temperature of our house and immediate environment. The first of these could be called ‘active’, where there is a direct energy input such as a wood fire, electric heater or air conditioner. This is where one sees the costs of running the house increase with use.
To reduce the need for the active component of climate control and maximize its effectiveness, we look to the second division, the ‘passive’ part.
Passive also means that you don’t need to do anything once things are set up. That means saving your other great resource – time.
As there are many ways to keep your home cool or warm, we’ve divided this section into two parts for the two main seasons below –
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Results … Does it all work?
Our Winter bills are the easiest to see results in. We’ve done everything listed on these pages and, on average, have reduced our winter heating from 3200W (two 1000W and one 1200W heater) down to one 1000W heater and a second that is set down to 800W. That’s a saving of 3200 – 1800 = 1400W per hour!
We know that the climate is changing and things are getting warmer but even factoring in a 20% increase in Winter temperatures, that still gives us a big saving of about 1000W per hour.
At about 30c / kWh, that’s 42c an hour saved, not to mention about 800g of greenhouse gas emissions that we’re not adding to the atmosphere each hour.
As for temperatures? The average indoor overnight temperature drops to a min. of 11-12°c now. Before, when the heaters were off – it would drop to 8°c .
That means that the place more comfortable at all times. Furthermore, as the house is quite long, we initially had a temperature difference between the lounge and the bedroom of 4°c . Now it’s only 1°c. No more heater in the bedroom!
Summer savings are a bit harder to see because this is where the weather is changing fastest. We’ve had some extreme heat this year and have had the air conditioners on more often and for longer on the hotter days. On one day, we needed both the evaporative and refrigerated systems on as Jelina’s health was suffering and we needed to cool the lounge as much as possible. As we move into 2020, it remains to be seen if we’ll go over 50°C but we got close this year.
However, on a normal Summer day’s basis, we need active cooling far less than before we made the changes. Back then, we sweltered with 30°C + inside most days. Now, those days rise to 26°C at most.