Electrical Safety 101

How to Make Sure That Your Home Is Ready for Cooler Days Ahead

by David Hart

Early indications suggest that the summer is going to be record-breaking across Australia and when you're sweltering at home, it's difficult to think about how you should prepare for the winter ahead. Like it or not, however, the country is likely to face a significant cool down once again, especially in the southern states and it's important to maintain an efficient home so that the energy bills do not get out of control. What do you need to look at, especially if you have recently moved into your home?

Making a Start

Before thinking about your actual power needs, focus on insulation so that you can keep the heat in its place. This will help you during those summer days as well and it's a good idea to replace or augment the materials that are already within the cavity walls, or in attic spaces.

Focusing "Up Top"

In fact, the attic is the most important place to add insulation, as heat will rise there during the winter. All insulation will certainly lose its efficiency and can compact over time and an upgrade may well be necessary. When you've done this, inject some insulation into the walls, to create a barrier all around each room.

Glazing and Doors

There seems little point in "beefing up" the walls and ceiling if heat can escape around doors and windows. Consider something as simple as a rubber strip around the perimeter of each, or invest in double glazing. This option will add value to your home as well, even though there is a significant initial outlay.

Heating System Options

There are essentially two different electrical heating types, a pump attached to a reverse cycle air conditioning system, or an individual "plug-in" heater system. The former is more potent as it uses air gathered from outside the house, before conditioning it to circulate through the ducting system. Individual, plug-in heaters are all very well but it's often quite a challenge to maintain the proper temperature in each of the rooms, around the clock. Have a look for a heat pump that is either inverter-driven or has an electronically commutated motor, for maximum efficiency.

Getting Started

Make sure that you bring in an electrician to help you decide which system is best for you and give you general advice about your home's needs. With plenty of planning, you will be completely ready for the inevitable drop in those mercury levels.