With Melbourne’s biting winter season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to start showing your residential HVAC system a little TLC. Doing so may help keep your household’s carbon emissions nice and low all throughout the winter season, but learning how to reduce your carbon footprint can take all the anxiety out of awaiting your next quarterly energy bill.
It’s safe to say that many households across Melbourne are batting down their hatches and preparing to stay cosy at a lower cost over the winter season. After all, Melbourne winters can get just as uncomfortable and unpredictable as our summers! So how can you make sure that your household energy usage stays consistently low during both of these seasonal extremes?
Today, our HVAC specialists will be sharing their favourite top tips for how to reduce your carbon footprint year-round. Read on to learn how you can keep your home energy-efficient from season to season.
How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
- Install an energy-efficient HVAC system
- Be conscientious with your temperature settings
- Assess your home insulation
- Switch to solar energy
- Swap out your hot water heater
- Invest in energy-efficient home appliances
1. Install an energy-efficient HVAC system
Many households may find that the majority of their electricity or gas bill really goes towards heating and cooling costs. HVAC systems can often be some of the most infamous power guzzling appliances in your home, especially if your system is out of date or has been poorly maintained. And if your HVAC system is showing the telltale signs of a blocked filter, then a thorough clean should hopefully knock a few dollars a day off your next quarterly bill.
If you’re worried that your HVAC system is demonstrating symptoms of a larger operational issue, however, then it may be time to organise an AC unit replacement with your local HVAC specialist. Thankfully, replacing your unit is likely to save you a lot more in the long run – even with the costs of installation. This is because a more energy-efficient HVAC system will help you keep your household utility bills low year-round, conserving your wallet and the world’s resources in one fell swoop.
2. Be conscientious with your temperature settings
Did you know that every degree you increase on your thermostat or heater settings can add up to 10% on your household energy usage? And with a minimum of three months worth of winter weather every year, those figures can really start to add up.
Similarly, setting your thermostat too low during the summer months can waste an excessive amount of energy and even damage your AC unit in the process. How? Your system may have to work extra hard to keep your home at that lower temperature setting.
To save your household from this copious amount of unnecessary energy expenditure, we recommend getting into the habit of setting your desired temperatures just a little higher in summer and a little lower in winter. You’ll find that your home can still stay nice and comfortable during these seasonal peaks without adding too much to your household energy bills.
3. Assess your home insulation
If you’ve updated your HVAC system, are strict with your thermostat settings, and are still finding that your household energy usage is a touch on the higher side, then your home may have an insulation issue. Poor insulation is actually a more common concern for Aussie homeowners than you may think, especially for older properties. This is because these homes were built during an era where power was a lot cheaper in Australia, resulting in people just relying on their home heating systems to provide the warmth rather than actually building their homes around seasonal extremes.
Nowadays, however, preparing your home to comfortably contend with extreme weather is simply a necessity. This means that if you haven’t invested in home insulation, now is the time to do it!
Adding wall, ceiling, and floor insulation to your home can help support your home heating and cooling by conserving any warmth or cold air created by your HVAC systems. Resealing your windows can also have a similar effect here.
4. Switch to solar energy
Another surefire way of reducing your household carbon emissions is to invest in renewable energy sources wherever possible. For many households, investing in solar energy is the most effective way to do just that.
Installing solar panels onto the roof of your home can help your property harness any solar energy to be used for power generation. If your household energy usage is already on the lower side, you may find that solar power can fuel virtually all the appliances and fixtures in your home. And if you have an excess of stored power, you may even be able to sell some energy back to your local power provider.
You can work with a dedicated solar company to install your solar panels. Keep in mind that solar panels should be north-facing in the southern hemisphere to be at their most effective, due to the northerly positioning of the sun in the sky.
5. Swap out your hot water heater
Ensuring that your home’s hot water system isn’t out of date is just as important as investing in modern heating and cooling solutions. You want to make sure that your home’s hot water supply is being produced as efficiently as possible.
Sustainability Victoria advocates that households invest in gas hot water heaters, as these are generally regarded to be the most energy-efficient, or at least more efficient than electric heaters. That being said, solar powered water heaters are available to homeowners now, and may be a suitable alternative for families looking to keep their household carbon footprint as small as possible.
Keep in mind, however, that the operational capacity of solar powered water heaters can differ from season to season. You may find yourself running out of hot water during the winter season, which is arguably where you’ll need it the most!
6. Invest in energy-efficient home appliances
Now that your heating and cooling systems are as energy-efficient as they can be, the next step is to turn your attention to all the other power-guzzling appliances in your home. These could be anything from kitchen appliances to dehumidifiers, standing heaters, and rotating fans. Be sure to check the energy star ratings on all of these appliances to determine which ones may be worth swapping out for more carbon-friendly alternatives.
You can make your appliances even more energy-efficient by using smart or WiFi-compatible plugs to connect them to your home power points. As smart plugs can connect up to your phone via an app, these nifty devices can be used to operate your appliances remotely. In other words, you could turn the heater on in your bedroom ten or so minutes before you get home. Or better still, you could set a timer on your heater so that it turns off after you’ve gone to bed, allowing you to fall asleep feeling warm and cosy without having to worry about getting up to flick a power switch.
The Best Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Lowering your household’s carbon emissions doesn’t need to require a costly upfront investment. Nor should you have to deal with less than comfortable living arrangements just to keep your carbon footprint on the smaller side.
So, how to reduce your carbon footprint? With an energy-efficient home heating and cooling system and a little bit of conscientious climate control, you’ll find that keeping your carbon footprint small this coming winter season will feel as natural as rugging up on the couch with a warm cup of tea in hand.
Want to assess the energy efficiency of your home HVAC system? Contact the team at Jacob Refrigeration to help prepare your home heating system for winter weather. Call us at (03) 9543 8000 or fill out our online enquiry form to receive a free no-obligation quote on your next HVAC consultation.