You don’t have to turn your house upside down to bring energy cost down.
This upside-down pyramid shows some recommended steps, increasing energy efficiency. The most important thing to remember is that each step should be carried out in the correct order (1-8) to gain the maximum benefit. Starting with the first step is not only easy but also very cost effective. As you go down the steps, the cost and difficulty of retrofit increase.
Caulk above and below the window architrave.
Caulk the skirting boards to the floor.
Seal up any old wall vents with plaster of Paris.
Seal up holes inside the kitchen, laundry and bathroom cupboards, where plumbing goes through the wall.
Seal up hidden holes behind fridge, dishwasher and oven.
If you have ducted heating, find the return grill, take it off the wall and inspect and seal the cavity behind it.
In areas you can reach, inspect the insulation for gaps and compression (under the floor, in the ceiling space.
Draught-proof your exhaust fans in the toilet, bathroom and kitchen, and make sure they are ducted to the outside. At the same time put in place supply air vents, which will allow the exhaust fans to operate effectively.
Install quality window and doors seals/ weather stripping, and make sure the bottom of all external doors have a draught stopper device.
Cover up all evaporative cooler vents during the winter heating period. Open vents act like chimneys during the winter and suck the warm air from the house.
Step 4: Remove old box (wall) air conditioners. They are in-efficient and leak lots of warm air from inside the house.
Use expandable foam (in a can) to seal the internal wall cavity from inside the attic space. Also check gaps and holes in cavity sliding door pockets from above.
Use SFP spray foam to seal and insulate under the floorboards. This is not a DYI job, but make sure the installer also covers the bottom of external walls to prevent wall insulation from falling down.
There are installers capable of insulating existing external walls with loose insulation. It’s non-intrusive and very effective. Unfortunately this is not a job for the DYI person.
Replace single glazed windows with double or triple glazed.
Step 8: Tight, well-sealed homes need good ventilation to keep adequate indoor air quality. Consider the installation of a whole house mechanical ventilation system. (Energy Recovery Ventilation System)
Undertaking all eight step will result in the ultimate energy efficient house, but rest assure that each step will bring with it some tangible benefits including lower energy bills!