Want to know how to slash your power bill and stay warm this winter? We’ve come up with the top 10 energy saving tips and tricks that will save you money, and keep your family warm this winter.

Let’s face it, winter in Queensland is beautiful. We say goodbye to stifling heat and humidity and welcome cooler days, clear skies and plenty of sunshine. But for some of us, the drop in temperature can be hard to handle. And with household budgets tighter than ever before, it’s time to get thrifty!

So, here are our simple top 10 energy saving tips that will help you beat the winter chill and save you money.

Tip 1. Clean your air con filters

It might come as a surprise that air con manufacturers recommend cleaning your filters every few weeks! So, if you’ve not looked at your split system for a while, now is the time.

When an air con filter is clogged up, the unit must work much harder to circulate hot air. This therefore increases running costs. So, taking the time to clean your filter will reduce your winter power bill.

Tip 2. Layer up

Sitting in your favourite tee while blasting the heater doesn’t make much sense. But somehow, we’re all guilty. Instead, throw on some warmer clothes and grab a blanket for the couch.

Rather than blasting the heater, set the temperature between 18 and 20 degrees. Every degree you increase heating past 20, can add around 10 per cent to your energy use!

Tip 3. Roll out a rug

It might sound simple, but adding a rug to a room is a cost-effective way to instantly warm up cold floors. The larger and thicker the rug, the more insulation it will provide.

What’s more, a shaggy rug feels lovely under your feet and makes even the coldest room more inviting in winter.

Tip 4. Stop door draughts

Stand next to the front door or the internal door to your garage and you’ll soon see how cold air can easily enter your home. Air gets in through the gaps under doors and in between the door and the frame. This constant unwanted cold air can account for as much as 25 per cent of heat loss throughout your home!

Now is a good time to check all your outside doors. Even draught check internal ones to colder rooms such as the bathrooms and toilets.

To stop the draught, and keep warm air in, you can opt for a door snake. From as little as a few dollars it’s an inexpensive and easy way to keep the heat in and cut your winter power bill. Even a rolled-up towel will do the trick!

For a more permanent solution, take a trip to your local hardware store where you’ll find plenty of draught proofing options including door seals and weather stripping. This quick video with Dave at Bunnings will show you how to seal a door.

Tip 5. Stop window draughts

When draught proofing your home, don’t forget the windows!  Just as air gets in through gaps in doors, cold air can enter in between the window frames and the timber.

At night, run your hand along window frames to feel for cold air. If you have cold air coming in through gaps in your windows, it also means warm air is escaping.

There are plenty of solutions to draught proof your windows. No matter what kind of windows you have at your place, you’ll find weather stripping, caulking, sealants and other options at your local hardware store.

Save on heating costs and slash your winter power bills. Learn more about how to seal your windows with weather stripping with Dave at Bunnings. He also makes caulking and sealing windows look easy with this how-to video.

Tip 6. Reverse the ceiling fan

A great tip to conserve energy and slash your power bill during winter is a simple flick of a switch. With this switch, your ceiling fan can rotate either clockwise or anti clockwise depending on the season.

When your ceiling fans are spinning anti clockwise, your fans are set to summer mode. You can feel the cool breeze on your face when you stand under it!

Change your fan to winter mode by flicking the switch either on the body of the fan itself, or via your remote control if you have one.

Your fan blades will now spin in reverse, or clockwise. This simple reverse action will push the hot air up to the ceiling and back down the walls to the ground.

Set to low power mode and your fan will now circulate heat throughout your home. Using your ceiling fan in winter mode with your heating can save you as much as 15 per cent on heating costs! We think this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to slash your power bill this winter.

Learn more about how ceiling fans can slash your winter power bills with CHOICE home expert Denis Gallagher.

Tip 7. Heat your home with sunshine

Take advantage of the winter sunshine. Open the blinds and curtains and let the sunlight and the warmth it brings, enter your home. As the sun goes down, glass gets cold quick. Consequently, the glass will make a room cold and much harder to heat. So, when the sun stops shining through a window – simply pull the blinds to help keep the warm air in, and the cold air out.

This tip is great if you work from home, but even if you can only do this on weekends, it will help cut the winter power bill.

Tip 8. Power down

Home appliances use as much as 25 per cent of your household energy! If you’re keen to cut your winter power bill this winter, then turn off the power sucking appliances in standby mode.

Some quick wins include gaming consoles such as an Xbox or Playstation. These are big power suckers. Older televisions and plasma TVs are too. And if you have a home office, your computer monitor is drawing continuous power!

So, switch off appliances at the power point when they’re not in use and save yourself some cash.

Tip 9. Switch to LED light bulbs

It’s a no-brainer. LED light bulbs use around 75 per cent less energy than halogen lights. What’s more, they last 5 – 10 times longer!  So, if you haven’t made the switch, now is the perfect time.

It will cost a bit to switch to LED light bulbs, but trust us, the savings will be worth it! If you’re on a tight budget, then start by swapping out the lights you use the most.

Tip 10. Install solar panels

When you install solar panels, your home is powered throughout the day using clean energy from the sun. The less energy you buy from your electricity retailer, the more money you save on your power bill!

With a quality solar system you won’t need to crank the heater when you get home from work. And forget coming home to an ice box. Instead, you can set timers on your split systems or ducted air con and warm your home with solar energy while you’re at work!

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