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Person installing weather seals to window.
Save energy at home with these eight tips.

Saving energy in the home is a win-win: it’s good for the environment and it helps save you money. You can improve your home’s energy efficiency by following these eight simple steps.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, gloves, and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment. 

Lighting

1. Switch to energy-efficient lights

Lighting eats up a decent chunk of your power bill. Replacing halogen and fluorescent light globes with energy-efficient LED globes is a quick and easy way to conserve energy. *LEDs cost a bit more, but they last longer and use less energy, which will save you money in the long run.

2. Be smart about your lighting choices

Avoid leaving lights on when they’re not needed, switching them off when you leave the room. That’s a quick and easy step that makes a big difference.

Also, install smart lighting that connects to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Smart lights are all about convenience. You can control your lights with your phone, turning them on and off at a set time – when you leave the house for work, for example, or before you arrive home. You can also establish ‘vacation routines’ that switch your lights on and off at random intervals to give the impression that you’re at home when you’re not.

3. Utilise natural light

Install skylights to maximise natural light in older or darker homes. This D.I.Y. project is an environmentally friendly way of bringing light into your home, improving the look and feel of almost any room and reducing your electricity bill.

DIY - Extra 18 - How to install a skylight

Insulation

4. Dress the windows and seal the gaps

Much of a home’s heat escapes through the windows, even if they’re closed. Installing curtains, blinds or window film will help retain heat. Open window coverings during the day to benefit from the sun’s heat and close them just before it gets dark to trap that heat inside.

Tighten up your home’s insulation. Make sure you have adequate ceiling, wall and underfloor insulation; top it off if required. A well-insulated home will prevent heat from escaping, so less energy is required to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Prevent draughts quickly and easily by adding door sweeps and snakes. Draught-proof your home by installing weather seals and re-caulking your windows. Install an insulating wrap and lagging around your hot water cylinder and pipes.

Lounge room with white walls and large window at the end of the room with sheer curtains

5. Use a split system

Split systems are energy efficient and capable of both heating and cooling, which makes them a good investment for your home. If you’re using a split system in winter, set it to a temperature between 18-20°C. This is a good balance between keeping warm without wasting energy. (Every degree higher uses more electricity.)

6. Employ the landscape

Use plants, trees and other landscape features to shelter your home from wind and weather.

Appliances

7. Harness the sun

Wash clothes in cold water and harness the power of the sun to dry them. Use a wall-mounted clothesline or portable drying rack to dry your clothes instead of a dryer.

Tip: Here’s how to make your own D.I.Y. hanging drying rack.

DIY - Header - How to make a D.I.Y. hanging drying rack

8. Use smart technology

Switch off appliances at the wall when not in use. You can do this manually or by using an energy timer. Other smart solutions include 24-hour mechanical timers, energy-saving powerboards and energy meters. Energy meters measure the energy use of your household electrical appliances so you can better calculate the cost of running them. If you have appliances that could use an upgrade, look for energy-efficient ones. (The higher the star rating, the more energy efficient it is.) 

* Any hardwired electrical fixtures must be installed by a licensed electrician.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.