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4 energy efficient renovations under $200

Making some small tweaks around the house can have a surprisingly big impact on the energy efficiency of your property - and the size of your power bill.

Best of all, making your home more energy efficient doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. We’ve rounded up four renovations you can do for under $200 to make your home more energy efficient.

1. Invest in a water-saving shower head

Water heating accounts for about 30% of your power bill - and the bulk of that hot water is used in the bathroom.

An easy way to reduce your hot water usage is to simply take shorter showers. But to really elevate your energy efficiency game, think about replacing your shower head with a water-saving shower head.

As the name implies, a water-saving shower head reduces the flow of water in your shower to help you save on water and power. Whereas regular showerheads might have a flow rate of 12 litres per minute, water-saving shower heads typically have a flow rate of just six to eight litres per minute. This can help you save hundreds of dollars on your power bill over the course of the year.

And, despite the lower flow rate, most water-saving shower heads still provide great pressure. They work by pulling air into the water stream, creating larger water droplets, and providing you with a powerful spray, all while saving on water and power. Sounds like a win-win to us!

Most department stores have a range of water-saving shower heads to choose from. This basic water-saving shower head from Trade Depot is a decent option and a steal at only $35.

2. Upgrade your curtains

Curtains don’t just affect the aesthetic appeal of your home - they can have a major impact on energy efficiency, too! A well-insulated property loses about 45% of its heat through its windows, which means your choice of curtains can directly influence how hard your heating system has to work to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

So, what sort of curtains should you be looking for? Ideally, you want to go for thick, heavy-lined curtains that are designed to keep the warm air in during winter and the hot air out over summer. The curtains should be long enough to touch the floor and wide enough that they overlap the window frames. Hot air rises, so for even greater thermal performance consider installing a pelmet to prevent warm air from escaping over the top of your curtains.

Curtain prices can vary significantly depending on length, fabric and where you buy them from. These will keep your home cosy and start at just $70 a pair.

3. Take control of your heating with a smart AC control

Heat pumps are already widely regarded as one of the most energy-efficient forms of heating, but if you want to take things to the next level you might want to think about a smart air conditioning control.

A smart AC control is a nifty little device that connects to your heat pump or air conditioning unit via Wi-Fi, allowing you to control your heating system from an app on your phone. Many smart AC controls come loaded with energy-saving features, such as geofencing technology, which can automatically switch off your heating system when no-one’s at home, and weather forecast integrations, which adapt your heating settings according to the current climate. Some can even detect when a window is open and automatically turn off the AC!

Functionality can vary between smart AC controls, so be sure to shop around for a device that suits your needs. We’re fans of the $190 Tada Smart AC Control V3+ from Noel Leeming.

4. Stop draughts by sealing up your home

Draughts are a common cause of heat loss in older New Zealand homes. They occur when cold outside air enters your home through tiny cracks, gaps, and holes, which can result in a drop in indoor temperatures.

Stopping draughts is fairly straightforward and gentle on the wallet - all it takes is a bit of elbow grease. To get started, investigate your walls, ceilings, windows, and doors and see if you can identify any draughts. A waterproof sealer can be useful for sealing cracks and joints in your walls and ceilings, while adhesive foam strips can be used around windows and doors to create a tighter seal. If your doors have keyholes that go all the way through the door, pick up a keyhole cover to stop draughts when the lock is not in use, and invest in a couple of draught sausages to reduce heat loss through the bottom of your internal doors.

Even more ways to save on power

Reducing hot water consumption, supplementing your home with smart devices, and finding ways to stop heat loss can go a long way towards creating a more energy-efficient home.

Looking for more ways to save on power? Maybe it’s time to make the switch to Pulse Energy, New Zealand’s leading provider of low-cost electricity. Give us a call today on 0800 785 733 or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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