Spot the home that will save you money

Whether renting or buying, we explain what to look for in a home that will save you money in energy costs.

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One key point was missed: location.

Some blocks have little or no access to sunlight. Some are exposed to high winds. Suburbs close to the ocean have much milder climates than those more inland. Even 10 kilometres will make a difference, 40 kms will make a big difference. The temperature range on the same day between say Manly and Blacktown is often considerable, on the coast the minimum could be 5C higher and the maximum 5C lower compared to on the plain. In some conditions, say a hot summer day with the nor’easter blowing, near the beach could be 10C or more cooler than inland.

I know beach suburb houses are much more expensive to buy and to rent than inland but so are well insulated brick house compared to un-insulated weatherboard.


Good point @syncretic, location is definitely something to consider if possible. It’s also going to factor into the energy (and time) you spend on travel and no doubt some other things too.


My current car has temp sensors exterior and interior . When I lived in Altona , a bayside Melbourne suburb , it would show , for instance 26c . When I head up to where I live now , Altona Meadows , less than 10 minutes away inland , the temp gauge can go as high as 30c outside temp . I hate the heat so it is costing me , as stated in previous posts , more power for aircon etc . /

Strangely though I often head over to Williamstown , another bayside suburb and it can be 30c where I now live :sob: 25c where I used to live , Altona :heart_eyes: and 31c in Williamstown which is on a peninsula with the bay surrounding it .:astonished: Hmmm strange .


We live on a hill at about 70m elevation. As @vax2000 did using the vehicles exterior thermometer as a measure, there can be a 5c difference at the bottom of the hill, 10m elevation, only 300 meters away from our home.


We live on the Iramoo flood plain . Spirit level flat everywhere . Strangely last night 25-05-2018 our suburb registered the coldest in Melbourne 1.5 C . Today was 20.5 C and I had visitors so no fishing . I bet on Monday and Tuesday which I have free the weather will break . Always the way .


Floods here on occasion as well - 550m above sea level and aside from the mountains that are a tad higher, its fairly flat. Gets below zero some mornings, which feels even colder on the motorcycle before sunrise, but we still have heaps of sunshine - my panels even have some reasonable shading in the afternoon, but luckily diffused as the shading is palms …


I think they call it the Iramoo Flood plain but it was actually formed by now extinct Volcanoes . Was sort of the path the lava took to get to where lava goes .


I think all homes should now be built with decent insulation, solar panels, solar hot water, water efficiency, and correct consideration of placement for best energy efficiency. Also I would like houses to have decent separation from one another so you can’t lean out your window into the room of the house next door, or eat breakfast at their table by just swinging your chair 90 degrees (I’ve seen some of my neighbours breakfasts and I don’t want them :grin: ).


It is a given that new houses shall be insulated and to a minimum level. Also, in many constituencies there is a requirement for any house being sold to have an energy rating! These energy ratings are based on a computer calculation carried out by an assessor.
I beg the question: How good are these energy ratings for houses?
My main concern is how effective is the insulation installation. The installers would receive instruction from their employer, but how thorough were these instructions and how much understanding or even interest did the employer have in correct installation? There is also the issue of currency of rules.
One result of the Labor Insulation replacement so called fiasco is of the need to avoid insulation catching fire from overheating, particularly form downlights. Regulations were enacted requiring insulation to be kept clear of downlights. This could mean no insulation within 100-mm of downlights, depending on certain parameters.
BUT, this was for halogen downlights, it is possible to get LED downlights that can have insulation fully covering the downlight!
NOTE: This is a particular rating given to the downlight and not a general rule!
So, if you have an old house (pre-LED downlights) then you will (should) have large gaps in your insulation coverage. Even if you did have LED lights as part of the construction there is a chance that there will still be gaps if the installer was not aware of the new rules!

Another cause of inadequate insulation coverage is the house construction, or more particularly the roof. It has become a fashion that houses constructed in recent years have multiple hips and valleys. In my house the front roof gradually reduces in size though these hips and valleys at the front, resulting in the front roof space being totally inaccessible. There is no room to get to certain areas, so how can the insulation installer get insulation in there? Or if they did, how well is it installed? I know the answer (ie not very good coverage) because I lifted the tiles and cut the sisalation out so I could see in!
This leads to my point that how many people bother to look into their roof space to check out the insulation installation? I bet it is only a few obsessive compulsives like myself!
So, I would suggest that the energy efficiency ratings for houses are about as good as the fuel efficiency VW’s had for their cars. The test were manipulated to give good results, and they were only found out by doing real life tests.
I would then suggest it is time for physical testing to be carried out on houses to prove_ their level of energy efficiency! For new houses, this need not be needed for every house but at least a benchmark test on one house with all others certified to be constructed to the same standard!!!