Tips to Live More Sustainably This Winter – Save Energy and Your Money!

By First National Real Estate
Jul 04, 2024

Are you feeling the chill, the pinch, and the weight of environmental issues on your shoulders? We have nine money-saving and energy-saving tips to help you keep warm this winter.

You might be a pro at remembering your reusable coffee cup, diligent at separating your waste, and may even drive an electric vehicle, which makes it all the more disheartening to see our global CO2 emissions still rising. As a result, it’s easy to blame big corporations (or celebrities swanning around in private jets) for their contribution and feel your efforts aren’t making a difference. But they do. And for a measurable shift to happen, we all need to continue to play our part – big or small.


During winter, our reliance on external energy sources naturally spikes, and with so many gadgets and gizmos promising energy savings and sustainable solutions, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. To help, we’ve collated 9 of the best ways to make your household more sustainable this winter – while saving you money along the way.


  1. Seal the deal – block drafts
    Keeping the cold at bay during winter is key to reducing reliance on heaters and other appliances. Check for gaps or cracks around windows, doors, and vents, and seal any you find to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping. Installing weatherstripping at the bottom of your doors and using DIY caulking for gaps or cracks along window seals are inexpensive ways to retain warmth. This reduces the need for artificial heating, improves your home’s energy efficiency, and saves money.


  1. Harness natural light
    With shorter, gloomier days, we often rely on artificial lighting, which consumes more energy. During the day, as the sun appears, open curtains and blinds to allow sunlight to naturally heat and illuminate your home. This will reduce the need for artificial lighting and heating, conserve energy, reduce CO2 emissions, and reduce your power bill throughout winter. While it may seem small, incremental changes like this can really add up.


  1. Drape your home in style and warmth

Make a style statement and insulate your home with a fresh set of curtains to adorn those heat-sucking windows. Layering is a big home styling trend for 2024, and combining whimsical sheers with functional thermal drapes will provide you with the best of both worlds. High-quality curtains have been shown to reduce heat loss by up to 10%, and for the absolute best results, close your curtains before it starts getting dark to keep the day’s warmth in.


  1. Rug up – literally!
    It’s tempting to crank up the thermostat in winter to make it feel like a balmy day on a tropical island. Over time, however, your energy bill and CO2 emissions will feel the effects. Instead, take it as an opportunity to restyle your home for winter – with a focus on the cosy factor. Choose sheepskin or wool throws and cosy décor like plush rugs and velvet cushions in warm hues. Don’t forget to style yourself appropriately, too – opt for sweaters, fluffy socks, and slippers. It’ll reduce the need to rely solely on heating systems, save energy, and create a cosy winter atmosphere in your home.


  1. MasterChef meets the master of sustainability
    Consuming animal products and out-of-season produce is a massive contributor to our global carbon emissions, and eating whole foods is one way you can live more sustainably. In winter, this means turning to seasonal vegetable-laden soups, stews, and hearty root vegetable-heavy roasts. Focus on more energy-efficient cooking methods, too, like slow cookers, which have low wattage and result in very little wasted heat (compared to ovens and cooktops). And if you are using the oven, once you’ve turned it off, leave the door open to allow the residual heat to warm up the space!


  1. Insulation station – upgrade and update

As we covered in our blog on creating a more energy-efficient home, proper insulation is the single best thing you can do to retain warmth. Fixing gaps and cracks and installing good quality drapes all make a difference, but correctly installed and effective insulation is the cosy blanket your home really needs. It can significantly reduce heat loss, helping you save energy and money on heating bills.

It’s important to note that insulation degrades over time, so if you notice your energy use increasing, the indoor temperature fluctuating, or any damage or compression to your current insulation, it might need attention.


  1. Invest for the future

Investing in sustainable upgrades to your home will save you money in the long run, increase your home’s value, and contribute positively to the planet. Some of the most worthwhile investments that rank highly on sustainability and comfort for winter include replacing fluorescent lights with LED bulbs, installing new technology like Smart Thermostats or Smart Home devices like Alexa or Google Home (which can reduce your energy wastage), and finally, harnessing sustainable energy sources like solar or hydro. In Australia, government funding such as the Solar Rebate and other energy efficiency grants can help you implement these upgrades.


  1. Give back to Mother Earth
    How green is your thumb? No matter the weather, staying vigilant with composting and recycling is one of the best ways to give back to Mother Earth. Recycling plastics and returning empty cans and bottles helps the planet, and you’ll even earn a little cash through some recycling schemes. If composting is more your cup of (bokashi) tea, you’ll not only be dealing with your food scraps but also creating healthy, rich soil that you can use to grow your own produce. And if the cooler months are hindering your composting enthusiasm, simply pack scraps into an airtight container and freeze them until you’re ready to go.


  1. Turn down the heat – use less hot water
    According to , hot water accounts for a large portion of household energy costs, with bathroom usage being the biggest contributor. And while we’re not suggesting you switch to ice baths this winter, simply taking shorter showers or installing low-flow showerheads will make a difference to the environment and your monthly energy bill. Make sure you stay on top of any water leaks, too.


Conserve, reduce and save

Living more sustainably in winter is crucial for protecting the environment, conserving resources, and ensuring you play your part in reducing the effects of climate change. And it comes with the added benefit of saving you money, too.


If you’re looking for a more significant change – whether it’s upgrading to a more sustainable home, a tiny home, or somewhere with more space for sustainable practices – reach out to your local property expert at First National Real Estate. And for more helpful winter energy-saving tips, visit How to Save Money During Winter



The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial, or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial, or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.