- Before you turn your heater on, make sure all the warm air stays inside by closing all the windows, doors and curtains. Check for draughts and dress for warmth – another layer of clothing could mean you don't need the heater up so high.
- Check what level your thermostat on your heater is currently set to. Ideally you should set it at 20 degrees Celsius. If your heater doesn't have a thermostat then put a thermometer in your living room and keep an eye on the temperature that way.
- Ceiling or pedestal fans can use a tenth of the cost of an air conditioner for the same room.
- If you are using an air conditioner be sure to have it set between 24-25 degrees Celsius. Clean the filters regularly and make sure you close the windows and doors in the air-conditioned space, along with all curtains and blinds. Most importantly, turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house.
- Do you really need to light an entire area if you are only using a small section of the room? Reduce energy and use a lamp where you can.
- Turn off the lights in rooms you aren't using.
- Choose a light globe with a lower wattage.
Insulating your home
- Doors play a really important part in retaining the heat in your home. If you do notice a draught, consider making a 'door snake' or draught stopper.
- Check for other areas where draughts can come through. Windows can be draught-proofed with insulation strips from a hardware store.
- If you have unused pet doors consider sealing them. Any gaps within your home contribute to heat loss.
- Uncovered windows account for up to 40 per cent of heat loss in the winter. Use heavy, lined curtains that fall below the window to keep warmth in.
- Install pelmets on the top of your windows – they sit on top of your curtain rods and prevent cold air from getting in. A cheaper alternative is putting a heavy blanket or towel on top of your curtain rod.