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Lifestyle : Energy Efficiency Special Report 2013
1HERSA1 C033 Energy efficiency lead to a winter of discontent Insulation insurance ... A home health check will help you work out the main areas to reduce heat loss. you're not using -- this will help keep the heat in. It's worth considering investing in new or upgraded window coverings. Opt for thick, lined curtains or ther- mal fabrics, or ''honeycomb'' blinds with insulating air cells. Whether you choose curtains or blinds, the fit is key to minimising heat loss and gain, says Robert May- er from the Blind Manufacturers' Association of Australia. "Make sure the curtains or blinds cover the entire window, right down to the floor or window sill. This will reduce air currents by trapping a lay- er of insulating air between the glass and the window." Install a pelmet to reduce air flow, too. You may also want to consider secondary glazing. Secondary glaz- ing comes in two types: dual window systems -- with glass and frame -- which are attached to the existing window frames, or acrylic panels attached by magnets. The former is better for sound insulation; the latter improves ther- mal insulation. Butbyhowmuch?Itpaystobea little wary of manufacturers' claims, says Gary Smith from the Australian Window Association. "With the Window Energy Rating Scheme you can compare rated products, and you know they've been independently tested and veri- fied. If a product is not on the WERS database then it's likely not to have been tested to the same procedures, so a comparison is irrelevant." LOOK AHEAD TO SUMMER Once you've got winter out of the way, you may want to start thinking about how comfortable --- or not --- your home is in summer. Many of the measures that improve your home's comfort over winter will also pay off over summer. But there are a couple of summer- specific measures to consider: Stop the heat before it enters your home with external shades. If you can't install external blinds, consider window films --- many are now WERS-rated. Close curtains and internal blinds in rooms that aren't being used. Ensure all windows are furnished with mosquito nets so that you can open windows to maximise cooling night breezes. Plant creepers or deciduous plants add additional shade to win- dows exposed to summer glare. Verity Campbell *$300 is paid as a factory cashback for Solahart solar water heaters (with a capacity of 220 litres and above excluding Heat Pumps) and all Solahart solar power systems. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer and Participating Dealers only. Offer ends 30/06/13 and all claims must be received by 15/08/13. For further information plus full terms and conditions visit www.solahart.com.au. †STC government incentives based on a Solahart 302L in zone 3 and is subject to change (correct as at 15 April 2013). SWITCH NOW AND GET To a S En R B l your last $300 $300 Call 1300 2SOLAR or visit solahart.com.au At Solahart, we want to free you from the fear of rising energy costs. So right now, when you switch to either Solahart Solar Hot Water or Solar Power (PV) we'll pay $300 towards your last energy bill. Get both and we'll pay $600! That's on top of existing STC government incentives of over $900†. To organise a free in-home solar quote, talk to Solahart, Australia's free energy experts. Built for Australian conditions, backed by dependable warranties for years of Wo r -f e e e Y The Sydney Morning Herald June 1- 2, 2013 33
Taste of Mexico Special Report 2013