Heating and Cooling
It’s not always easy to keep apartments warmer in winter and cooler in summer, without relying on expensive to run heating and cooling systems.
Here are our top tips on how to do just that, as well as how to keep the running costs of such systems down.
Seal draughts! Check for cracks and gaps around windows, doors, plumbing, heating units and ducted systems.
Here are some simple products you can purchase yourself:
- Door seals. These are stuck or screwed onto the bottom of your door – providing a more permanent solution to air leaks. These can be used in internal doors as well, if you’re heating one room at a time. Most door seals are easy to install and will be available in all shapes and sizes, from your local hardware store.
- Weather seals. Once again, these are available at your local hardware store and are easy to install. You just clean the surface, peel away the backing and stick them to your door or window frames to fill in the cracks or gaps.
- Door snakes are also a great option.
- Rugs or carpets on timber or tiled floors can also be great in winter.
However, before attaching anything to the fire rated doors i.e. main entry/exit doors make sure you speak to the owners corporation to see what can be applied!
Insulation is also great to dramatically improve your building envelope. Because insulation is installed in the roof space, which is generally common property, this may require a resolution from the owners corporation. Talk to your owners corporation to see what your options are.
Best ways to use your heating and cooling
If you do choose to use a heater, heating and cooling can be responsible for around 16% of the typical household’s energy bills so it is important to use your system in the most efficient way.
- Use your thermostat. We recommend cooling to 23-26⁰ and heating to 18-20⁰. Every degree higher in winter or lower in summer can increase your bill by up to 10%.
- Use a timer. A timer can turn your heater on and off automatically, such as 20 minutes before you wake up in the morning or before you get home. This means that you can get up or come home to the right temperature without having to run your system when you are asleep or not at home.
- Turn it off. Going out for the day? Turn your heating off. It’s significantly cheaper to turn it off and on again when you return, than to leave it running
- Zone your apartment. Minimise the area being heated, by closing doors to rooms that aren’t being used. Doubling the size of the area being heated, can double the cost.
- Use your fan when cooling. This will allow the cool air to circulate allowing you to leave the A/C at a higher temperature.
- Reverse your fan. Reversible ceiling fans are a great way to circulate warm air that’s built up near the ceiling, and only cost 1-2 cents per hour to run. Make sure to clean the blades before placing in reverse or you could get a dust shower!
- Maintain your heating and cooling appliance. To ensure your heating and cooling appliances are running efficiently and safely, it’s important to service them regularly.
- Use your existing reverse cycle air conditioner as a heater– The most efficient 5-6 star air conditioners can be cheaper to run than gas space heaters. Please note installing a reverse cycle air conditioner requires owners corporation approval as it affects common property.
If you are looking for a new heater or cooling appliance, check out the Ausgrid heating and cooling guides.