Simple steps to sustainability
What can you do right now to green your home?
Your home doesn’t have to be new to be green. Green features are a smart investment in any residential building, with a fast payback time, ensuring you save money in the long-term.
So, what can you do right now to green your home?
Firstly, you have no idea how your building is performing until you measure it, so track your home’s energy consumption and water consumption, and look for areas where you can make improvements.
Replace inefficient, incandescent light globes with compact fluorescent lighting – and while you do it, consider the lighting density and lighting levels in your home to ensure spaces are not over-lit. Remember: the ‘greenest’ energy of all is the energy that doesn’t get used in the first place.
Look at your window treatments. Do they provide adequate shade from the summer sun? Do they keep in the heat in winter?
Consider replacing any inefficient taps and fittings with ones that are water-efficient. A standard showerhead uses 18 litres of water a minute, while a 3-star WELS showerhead can reduce the flow of water to just nine litres per minute.
Also, examine your air conditioning. It’s most cost-effective to condition only those areas that are currently in use – not those that ‘might’ get used, and not those that have alternative forms of ventilation or cooling which might be used when conditions allow.
While many buildings maintain ayear-round temperature of 22.5°C, adjusting your temperature setting to 24°C in summer and 21°C in winter can save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Finally, think about making more sustainable choices. A bath can use 58 litres of water in just one go. And drying four loads of washing a week can add $150 a year to your electricity bill – enough to make the trek out to the clothesline seem worthwhile.