Tips to Make Your Home Energy Smart
The best advice you can get to make your home energy smart is to take a walk around, inside and out and take
stock of areas you can improve in.
Look for how you currently use energy and where unnecessary waste occurs.
Every room in the house will have changing demands over seasons and as the family grows and shrinks over
Don't just heat that big room because that is what you have always done.
Heat loss through walls, floors, windows and ceilings can waste 50 per cent or more of the average home's
utility bill in winter. The smart thing to do is to seal up any leaks around doors and windows from the outside and
add insulation to roof cavities. This will enable you to use less
electricity during heating.
Most of the appliances used in the home can be operated better to save energy.
Only use when needed seems simple advice, but adjust the cycle for washers to match the load. Use hot water as a
last resort, not just as a habit.
When drying clothes make sure they are fully spun out first and don't overload the dryer. Turn appliances off at
the wall and avoid the needless waste of energy maintaining a standby function.
Remove old incandescent light bulbs and replace with CFL's needing only 25 per cent of the electricity and
install dimmers or time switches to turn off the light automatically when a room is empty.
Water heating will use up to 30 per cent of the home's energy needs in a year and yet much of this can be wasted
if the tanks and piping are poorly insulated.
Turn the thermostat setting down a few degrees, especially in summer, and benefit immediately from savings
The choice of appliance will make a big difference to how smart your home will be. All appliances have been
energy rated and efficiencies in energy demand are available for you to compare different makes and models when you
are looking at replacements. If you want to reach the ultimate goal of an energy smart home look at alternative
sources of power.
Solar power and diy wind power
can reduce your dependence on the utility company to zero and even make you a few dollars by sending extra
generation capacity back.
Simple systems can be made by the homeowner with some DIY skills. The cost of these systems may be a lot less
than you might expect and they can be up and running in a matter of days.
A roof garden is almost the perfect insulation for your home and will provide a visual benefit to the
environment as well. Low maintenance and a buffer against some of the extremes of weather are other benefits.
When combined with a roof turbine a roof garden will keep your home cool in summer and dry and warm in winter
with less heating energy required.
The benefits of reducing demand will be felt immediately if some of the tips above are followed by the drop in
your utility bills. The key here is to begin with small things that can deliver straight away and help to finance
the cost of major changes over time.
When the time comes to refurbish, re-examine what your family's needs are to avoid spending a large amount on a
project that may not meet those requirements in one or two year's time. Using a large amount of resources to create
something you don't need is certainly not smart.
Remember that the thinnest part of the home is the window and it makes sense to spend time here looking at leaks
and how the effects of winter chills can creep in around this weak point.
The view might be lovely but the energy that disappears through unprotected glass will be a significant
contributor to your energy demand. Be smart and get good thermal drapes or double glazing and enjoy the view of the
Take a look at the solutions Free Energy Options can offer you - both for the environment and for your