Ways to improve your home's energy use

Our houses can chew up a lot of electricity, gas and water - especially if the home is operating inefficiently.

Here are some ways you can upgrade your home to make sure it's operating with a higher level of efficiency, helping you to save on your energy bills while also helping out the environment.

Check your insulation

Having good insulation will allow you to make significant savings on your heating costs this winter. This is because you don't end up paying to heat the air that slips through walls, floors and ceilings which are insufficiently insulated.

Look up at your roof

What colour is your roof? Having a white roof may be able to help keep your home cooler in the summer months meaning you won't have to turn your air conditioning unit on so often when it's hot.

White roofs actually reduce the effect of carbon emissions on the planet. They reflect sunlight back through the atmosphere into space, helping to cool the earth. That's a pretty good deal when all it takes is one new coat of paint.

Go solar

Consider investing in solar panels, or a solar water heater. This involves a storage tank and solar panels, where hot water is stored for the home and heated by the rooftop panels.

This can mean you won't have to worry so much about electricity prices as the bulk of household energy bills come from heating water. With a solar hot water heater, the resources of the environment are what power your home - and that's free.

Be smart

Think about installing a smart meter in your home. These devices show your real-time energy usage so that you can see which appliances are chewing through your power bill the most. The more informed you are about your usage, the better your position to make some energy-saving changes.

Check your windows

Old windows can be one of the biggest energy-sapping culprits out there. If there are any cracks or gaps in your windows then you can end up having to heat your home more in winter, contributing to a higher energy bill. Seal them up and see if you notice your electricity costs go down.

Whether you implement all these changes together or one at a time, they are sure to have a positive impact on your spending, as well on the environment - so try them out.

Posted by Matthew Cole