Get to know your heater
Do you have a split system air conditioner? Did you know they can be used for heating too? This is usually the more effective and efficient type of heater.
If you have heaters installed at your place, make sure they’re working correctly. Ensure nothing is sitting in front or on top of your heater. You should also check that the vents and filters are clean from dust. Dust or debris can affect your heater’s ability to work.
Don’t know the difference between ‘Snowflake” or ‘Sunshine mode? It’s important to make sure you are using your systems in the correct way. If you can’t find the manual for your system at the bottom of the junk drawer, most instruction manuals are now online! When you search the model, the manual, or instructional videos should appear. Learn more about your system and which mode is the most efficient for the time of year.
If you’re renting and your heaters aren’t working, remember that your landlord has a responsibility to make sure that they work. See Tenants Victoria for how this applies to you.
If you plan on buying a new heater, do some research. We also have a handy buyer guide to heaters and air conditioners!
2. Keep your heater temperature to 18-20 degrees
Setting the thermostat to just 1-degree cooler can decrease your heater bill by 15% according to Environment Victoria!
When it’s cold outside we may feel like we need to turn our heater up high. However, setting it to 20 degrees will still keep you comfortable and save you money.
3. Block up cold draughts
Cold air often creeps in underneath doors or around windows, and it’s estimated that up to 25% of heat loss in winter is caused by ‘air leakage’ – also known as draughts.
‘Snake’ draught stoppers are a budget and renter friendly way of keeping out cold air. You can even make one yourself using an old pool noodle, old clothes or other materials. They are also cheap to buy from local shops.
Heavy curtains will also help keep warm air inside your home. You can purchase these from an op shop and hang them up with some O rings and a piece of dowl, even if you’re renting.
4. Close doors to unused rooms and cupboards
Only heat the rooms you are in. Shut doors to other rooms. Your wardrobes, pantry or other cupboards do not require heating, so get into the habit of keeping these doors closed.
5. Buy a heated throw
Heated throw blankets are a great way to keep yourself warm without heating an entire room. They are cheap and portable. Perfect for a Zoom work-from-home meeting or watching TV on the couch.
6. Cover bare floors
Rugs or mats on top of any bare floors will stop the cold from rising. Thicker rugs, like wool, tend to insulate rooms better. However, wool rugs can be expensive. Instead, you can opt for cotton, acrylic and nylon rugs – they will provide good insulation and are more affordable. Op shops and other stores have a huge range of rugs and mats available to suit anyone’s design preferences.
7. Get a good energy deal
You should also find out if you have a gas or electric heater and then check if you’re getting a good deal from your energy supplier. Compare Energy has some great online tools to help you compare the prices of different energy offers.
8. Get free advice
Check out the Zero Carbon Merri-bek website for free information and sign up to our monthly e-news for the latest offers and news.
Money for homeowners to insulate or seal up gaps in their home:
If you own your home and live on a low income, we may pay up to $2,000 to install insulation or seal up the gaps in your home. To register for Merri-bek’s Home Energy Upgrades Program, contact our Energy Officer, Katherine, on 9304 9717 or email email@example.com