Turn heaters and air-conditioners down to reduce energy and money!

Heating and cooling our homes has a major impact on household emissions. By using less heating and air-conditioning we can make real $ savings too.

As the weather gets colder, turning on the heater may seem like an appealing idea, however there are many things you can do to avoid this. For most homes reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling by about 20% should not be uncomfortable. The estimated CO2 saved per person by turning down or switching off air-conditioners and heaters is 600kg per year and 50kg per month.

Heating and cooling are one of the major sources of emissions in most homes, and overuse can be expensive for our wallets as well as the planet.

Air conditioning in particular also can put massive 'peak' pressure on the electricity system on very hot days, which can cause electricity prices to sky-rocket and can trigger black-outs if the electricity grid gets overloaded.

Here are some steps you can take at home:

1. Take time to observe your household's behaviour with heating and cooling and look for areas where you think energy is being wasted

2. If you have temperature control then set the heating thermostat 1 degree C lower and the cooling 1 degree C higher

3. Engage everyone in your home on simple points such as only running heating and cooling when it is really needed, making sure external doors and windows are shut, shutting interior doors to rooms not being used, sealing air leaks, and turning things off or down when you go out or go to sleep

4. Dress for the climate and time of year, with light clothes in summer and jumpers in winter, and blankets and doonas for sleeping in winter and just a light sheet in smmer.

5. Be weather-aware on a daily basis and use heating and cooling when they are really needed instead of just out of habit

6. For cooling aim to set thermostat at 18-20 degrees in the daytime and 13-15 degrees at night when sleeping

However, of course in many places and at many times it is necessary to use heating or air conditioning, but always make sure you opt for the energy saving appliances and be strategic with your usage.

Want more information? Try these sensational websites from the OEH!

The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) works to protect and conserve the NSW environment, including the natural environment, Aboriginal country, culture and heritage and our built heritage, and manages NSW national parks and reserves. We love their sensational work and the support that they give 1 Million Women.

The NABERS Home Calculator

You can use the NABERS HOME Rating to find out how your home's energy and water use compares to others.

Smarter Choice Calculator

The Office of Environment and Heritage's Smarter Choice program is designed to help you make more informed purchasing decisions on appliances.

General Info on saving money at home

Shea Hogarth International Correspondent Suggest an article Send us an email

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