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Why is over-capitalizing a home more cost effective than homeowner’s high electricity bills due to draughty windows and poor heat retention?

Tips for avoiding skyrocketing power bills and wasting energy


Homeowner’s Electricity Bills

Tips for Saving on Electricity and Heating

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Winter time with sky-rocketing power bills


Are power bills nerve-racking to you in winter months? Sure, everybody has a story to tell when it comes to warm up in a cold house. By design older Kiwi homes are well known for poor heat retention and that is the reason for sky-rocking power bills.


After we settled in Wellington we could not heat our house enough due to the wind that sucked out all the heat putting into the house. It was just freezing cold. Leaving the house in the morning and coming late home is a problem for many families because there is not enough time to maintain sufficient temperatures.


In the opposite I hear your suggestions to improve the level of heat retention and efficient heating. Yes we did all this, reduced our electricity bill by nearly 50% - but don’t ask me  - doing so you need deep pockets!



Wasting Energy vs. over capitalizing


To cut the story short we insolated everything accessible, replaced windows with double glazed windows and installed central heating. Well, the first reaction was—very nice, but why do you over-capitalize your home?


True, often seen, some people renovate only before selling. Looking from homeowner’s perspective, wasting thousands of Dollars only on heating that makes little sense considering all costs for a compromised lifestyle (comfort, health, waste).



Inexpensive steps to warm up your home


Feeling cold apart from draught is caused by low temperatures and high air humidity. The latter does not really stand out in people’s awareness.


With little changes e.g. monitoring the humidity in people’s home and switching on a dehumidifier (or ventilation), when the moisture level exceeds 60%, would make a difference. You can purchase an indoor humidity monitor for less than 20 Dollars. If you identified the problems (showering, cooking, leaks, etc) you will be able to change.


Heating is the second component to make life more healthy and comfortable. A warm house  (temperatures above 17 degrees Celsius) is a dry house because warm air transports more moisture. The related questions is what heat source is the best? Check this out, because older and newer homes need different heating solutions (radiant heat and/or convection heat).  If you followed the link then you know that people lose lots of money using an (efficient) heat-pump in a old house!




Energy wise —what can you do?


1. Monitor room temperature and humidity. Hygrometers and indoor weather stations are widely available at low cost.

2. Capture the sun’s warmth by opening curtains during the day and close them before it gets dark.

3. Use draught stoppers on doors and seal windows with foam tape (plenty of products on the market)

4. Use heaters with thermostat and timer to keep room temperatures on certain levels and avoid overheating.

5. Switch off devices (not run in Stand-by Mode) such as television, video, play-station, or unused appliances

6. Use a hot water bottle instead of the electrical heater blanket

7. Dry bath and shower after using it, or run after showering a dehumidifier to dry condensation.

8. Keep rooms well ventilated, open a window at least for 15 minutes or run a dehumidifier to remove humidity, dry rooms are cheaper to heat

9. Only buy and use appliances with high energy saving ratings

10. Still the outdoor clothing line has the best energy rating. If you can’t use it, run a dryer on low heat settings.

11. Fill appliances properly such as the dishwasher, washing machine etc and use the economy cycle.

12. Fridge and freezer are power hungry when ice built-up and only work efficiently if the heat-exchanger has air to circulate.

13. Don’t defrost frozen foods in the microwave instead defrost foods in the fridge since this helps to save energy.

14. Do not put uncovered liquids into the fridge. Their evaporation will make the fridge have to work harder.

15. Replace all of your inefficient incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs or LED lights

16. When cooking and baking – do many items at the same time when the oven is hot.



Related Articles

Energy Efficiency - Renovations, Trends and Technologies

Lifestyle—budget and heating solutions



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