Energy-saving tips to cut your winter costs

Winter is here, but it doesn’t have to bring expensive power bills with it. RACT Insurance has put together a list of smart energy-saving solutions to keep your home safe and warm, and your wallet full.

​​1. Play it safe

​Your home is one of the biggest i​​​nvestments you make in your life, so why not protect it? Home heating incidents could put a serious dent in your savings if you don't have adequate insurance. Small things such as accidentally leaving electric blankets on, damaged electrical cords, or forgetting about food left in the oven or on the stove top can cost you everything. Protect your home and contents and get a quote with RACT Insurance here​.​

2.  Replace worn out weather-stripping​​​​​

Worn and torn weather-stripping around doors and windows can cause draughts letting cold air in and warm air out. This forces your heat pump to work harder and cost you more money. Replacing weather-stripping is as easy as pulling the old off and sticking on the new. Weather-stripping (or draught stoppers for those who want a quick fix) can be purchased from your local hardware store.​​​

3.  Have a professional service your fireplace annually

​A tune up will include some very important safety checks, you'll notice more heat, and it will increase the lifespan of your fireplace thus saving you money long-term. Did you know that wood heater ash not being disposed of properly is one of the most common causes of house fires?

4.  Use the sun to your advantage (it's free!)

Even though it's cold outside, the sun's ray​s can still give off some good heat during the day. To take advantage of this, open curtains and window blinds in the morning before you go to work to allow the heat in, and close them at night to trap the heat in.

5.  Get 'smart'

Leaving portable heaters on when you're not home can not only be costly, but a potential fire hazard as well. Always get in the habit of turning power points off when you leave the house. Electronics like TV's and computers on 'standby' are the biggest power culprits and insurance claims data from the last two years has revealed that TV units left on standby were among the highest causes of total loss house fires.

​Try controlling your home appliances with 'smart' adapters. This allows you to use your smartphone to monitor how much energy you're using, set 'on' and 'off' timers for your appliances, and auto switch-off for devices on standby.​ Check out Telstra​ for the latest Smart Home devices.​​​​

6. Go with LED lighting

​If you tend to hibernate and spend more time at home in the winter, switching to LED lights is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills.

7​​. Choose energystar rated appliances

More stars, more savings. Replacing old appliances, like your heat pump or washing machine, with energystar rated appliances will save you more in the long-term. Find out more about energy star ratings​. ​​