Want to make your home more environmentally friendly? Here are our top 10 tips for energy-efficiency.
- Check your insulation
Proper insulation will keep you warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Choose biodegradable cellulose or wool instead of fibreglass or polyester. In winter, place draught strips around doors and hang close-fitting curtains over windows. Install awnings, eaves or blinds to block strong summer sun. For more ideas, visitwww.energysmart.com.au.
- Buy energy-efficient appliancesEnergyrating.gov.auwill tell you how many kilowatts per hour or year your appliances use. For example, combination units like CD-DVD players use less energy. Switch off appliances at the wall when they're not in use. Hang clothes on a line instead of using a drier; this can cut greenhouse gases by about 3kg per load.
- Consider converting to solar power
Government rebates are available to people who use renewable energy systems: visitwww.ata.org.auandwww.anzses.orgto learn more.
- Replace standard bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
These last 10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy. Avoid fittings requiring multiple bulbs.
- Maximise natural light
Put work areas near windows and install skylights or tubes in dark, poky spots.
- Put solar-powered lights along paths and driveways
Solar-powered lights don't cost a thing to run.
- Take shorter showers
Fix leaking taps immediately. Never run a washing machine or dishwasher unless it's fully loaded. Don't use hot water if you can use cold.
- Update your hot water system
If you're updating your hot water system, gas or solar are cheaper alternatives and produce half the greenhouse gas of electricity from coal-powered stations.
- Install at least one rainwater tank
New designs include flexible plastic tanks that can fit in tiny spots, such as under floors and decks.
- Buy water-using appliances with star or AAA rating labels
The more stars or As your washers have, the better. Visitwww.wsaa.asn.aufor more information. Install water-saving shower heads and tap flow regulators. A dual flush toilet cistern will reduce water use by one third. Most water authorities offer rebates for buying these devices.