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Although heaters come as a welcome relief to cold bodies down under, the energy needed to produce that blissful warmth comes at a price, and we aren't just talking money.
It's estimated the average Australian household uses 40% of its total energy on heating and cooling. That's a heck of a lot, considering 12% of total greenhouse gas emissions come from Residential and Commercial sources (EPA, 2013).
But staying warm in winter without a heater doesn't have to be frightening - If the traditional Inuit people managed in homes of ice, surely we can learn how to insulate, too! It's surprisingly simple to do, so the next time your finger is hovering above the heater's 'ON' button, give these energy-saving ideas a try!
Keep unused rooms closed
Heat's a little trickster and it will escape if you leave too many doors open. Try to have everyone in the house use only a few rooms close to one another – say the lounge room, kitchen and dining room. That way, you can all stay together, and your body heat will stay in the rooms you're moving in.
Close and cover your windows
A window that is open even just a tiny gap can cause your entire house to freeze – make sure windows stay sealed! If you're worried about your house getting stuffy, leave a window open during the day so your house can be aired out. Curtains are another great way to insulate the cold from windows – see if you can find some nice thick ones to drape!
Rugs, rugs, rugs!
Who doesn't love a nice rug? If your house is tiled or floor-boarded, a rug is especially needed to help retain warmth. Rugs have a similar insulation effect as curtains, and will help to keep the heat in – they'll keep your toes warm too, if your slippers have gone astray!
Hot water bottles
This might not be a house-insulating tip, but hot water bottles are definitely worth mentioning! They may be old-fashioned, but they're a delicious little heat pack to put on your feet, or in your lap. They last for hours, and run at almost no energy!
Ref: EPA. (2013). Sources of Greenhouse gas emissions.
[image credit: Shutterstock]
What you can do
Switch On To Turning Off... Save Energy Save Money
You'd be surprised how much you can save by doing this, not to mention the positive impact on the environment!