The New Zealand winter brings darker evenings, colder temperatures and, unfortunately, higher power bills for many people. Your friendly, competent team at Cylinder Direct likes to be as helpful as possible. We can’t do much about the weather, but we can help you save money on your heating, power and hot water bills.
Cylinder Direct provides a range of water heating systems, including hot water cylinders and continuous flow systems. We can also help you decide between different ways of heating your home, particularly if you’re considering a heat pump.
If you’re not thinking about upgrading any of your appliances at the moment, though, that’s completely fine. We’d still love to share with you a list of the top 10 tips on how to save some money and help save the planet this winter.
Shorten your showers
We know you’ve heard this one before, but it is always worth repeating. Shortening your shower by even just a minute or two can make a big difference over time in your water and power bills. If you’re rinsing togs, brushing your teeth or brushing your hair in the shower, please stop.
Trial shorter laundry cycles or less frequent laundry cycles
Many people use the same laundry cycle for everything, but you probably don’t need to. Gym clothes, gardening clothes and some work clothes might need a thorough wash. But you’ll probably find that a shorter cycle is just fine for clothes you wear around the house or the items you wear just once.
Close the gaps
Older NZ homes have a lot of gaps around doors and windows. If you’re not in a position to have these replaced or re-hung. Make sure you’ve got good draught stoppers in place to prevent cold air from coming into the house. You can use the fabric, sand-filled snakes, or you can get plastic or rubber strips that attach to the bottom of a door for a more permanent remedy.
Check your window coverings
There is a difference between different types of curtains and blinds and how much they affect your home’s temperature. Make sure you’re drawing the curtains or blinds just before it starts to get dark. (Or do it as soon as you get home from work) to help keep the warmth from the sun in. It really does make a difference to the temperature of the room.
Review your hot water heating system
If you’re paying more than you think you should be for hot water, it may be time to review whether your current water heating system is still adequate. Our needs change over time as our households change, or our families go through different stages. A family with a baby and a toddler (who take baths every night) will use water differently. Then compared to a family with teenagers (with several showers taken every morning and/or evening after sport). The most obvious difference is the change in water use when you go from being a couple in a household to a family of three, four, five, etc. It may be time to upgrade your old hot water cylinder with a gas continuous flow hot water system.
Make sure you have adequate insulation
Insulation is now compulsory for new homes, but it wasn’t always that way. If you live in a house built before the 1990s, it may only have insulation in the ceiling. If you buy a home built before the 1970s, it may not have insulation anywhere. Over time property owners have added insulation, but it’s worth it to organise an insulation check. Even just the most minor addition of insulation can make a huge difference.
Take another look at how you’re heating your home
There are many options available and what works best depends on the size of your home. How cold it gets, how warm you like it (especially at night), etc. We often see that people use several space heaters or oil column heaters and pay much more in their power bills than if they spent the money upfront on a good heat pump that will keep your home warm and dry for longer.
Insulate your pipes and hot water cylinder
If you have a hot water cylinder, it should have a wrapping layer of insulation that helps it run more efficiently. This may need updating if your cylinder is quite old. Insulation around your hot water pipes will help keep your water a few degrees hotter. Give us a call, and we can look at whether there is room to add more insulation anywhere to make a difference.
Start using some of your greywater
If you let the shower run for a couple of minutes to warm up. Collect some of that water in a bucket and use it to water the plants or garden. Or to clean the soccer boots (this water isn’t actually grey, so it’s completely safe for your plants and garden). The same thing goes for any water in the laundry sink from your handwashing. Look for gentle soaps that don’t have additives that are harmful to plants.
Buy NZ merino
Okay, this one has nothing to do with your hot water or heating, but we think it’s good advice. Ditch the shorts and jandals for a few months and get yourself some New Zealand merino. Shop local, keep warm and save on your heating bills.
You might think you need to compromise between choosing environmentally-friendly options and cost-effective solutions, but that’s not always the case. By making a few minor changes from the list above. You can save money and be more eco-friendly or sustainable with your hot water use, water heating and household heating.
Please get in touch with us if you’re interested in reviewing your water use, water heating, or heating efficiency in your home. If you have any other questions, give us a call on 0800 51 51 51 for immediate help or to receive a quote.