Summer is drawing to a close across NZ and autumn days are setting in. Farewell sunscreen and togs. Hello woolly sweaters and hot chocolate. But with cosiness and warmth comes a noticeable increase in power bills. So autumn is the perfect time to prepare for the harsher and cooler conditions of winter, and make plans for lower power bills.
1. Cover drafty windows for lower power bills
If there’s a breeze sneaking into your home now, you’ll notice it even more as the months get colder. So fix it now, and you’ll thank yourself later. You can use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame, or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or curtains on windows, too.
2. Are your heating systems in tip-top shape?
It could be time to schedule service for your heating system. Have a heat pump? It might be time to change the filter. For wood- and pellet-burning heaters, it’s a good idea to clean the flue vent regularly. Clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush from time to time to ensure that your home is heated efficiently.
If it’s time to buy a new heat pump, check out our story: Top Heat Pumps in New Zealand: What to Consider.
3. Reduce heat loss from your fireplace
If you use a fireplace, keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a door wide open during the winter; it lets warm air escape right up the chimney. Check your seal on your fireplace is as snug as it can be. It could also pay to install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room. You’ll notice a difference. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
4. Let the light in from the garden
Try to use natural light to heat your home too. While trees serve a great purpose by offering shade in summer, chop back those branches for autumn. Dedicate a day to trimming the branches or bushes outside your windows to allow for more sunlight to come through.
5. For lower power bills, keep your hands warm
It sounds silly, but don’t let your hands get cold. Have hot water bottles, a cosy blanket and hot drinks at the ready. That way you’ll be less tempted to crank up your heater or heat pump too high. Having warm hands helps keep the rest of your body warm, too. Hands work to regulate body temperature, so the second they detect a chill in the body, it sends more blood to our organs to keep us alive. Keep them toasty and save on power!
6. Use your dryer as a last resort
Autumn often offers sun, make use of it! Autumn weather is usually warm enough for you to hang your clothes on the washing line without any troubles. Wash your clothes early in the morning (in a cold wash) and hang them out as soon as they are done.
7. Make your floors cosy
If you have tile, wooden or marble floors, use a rug to reduce heat loss through your floors. Purchasing rugs or even carpet now can be cheaper than buying during winter time, when demand and prices are at their highest.
8. Find the best power deal in NZ
Compare Power Companies in New Zealand and reduce your electricity bills. Thousands of Kiwi households change their power provider every year and many more are keeping track of prices by comparing power prices NZ wide. New Zealand Power Companies are well aware of this and are always trying to poach customers from their competitors. Check out the best power companies for customer service and price in our ratings table.
Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.
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Canstar Blue NZ Research finalised in May 2020, published in June 2020.
See Our Ratings Methodology