Upper Lachlan

gulp Home Energy Review

14 July 2011

Built 100 years ago with 14 rooms and a floor space of approximately 500 sq meters, historic Avondale homestead near Gunning is magnificent – but tricky to keep warm.

Features such as the 3.2m high ceilings, age old air vents, draughty door and window openings and beautifully large rooms make energy efficiency something of a headache.

Old farmhouse energy review

SOT Home Review consultant Alison Elvin suggested ceiling fans could help disperse the heat sitting at the top of each room.

Using a digital laser thermometer gun and shining it on different heights on the kitchen wall, it was clear the temperature near the ceiling was seven degrees! warmer than the temperature at table height where the family sits for dinner, despite a nearby slow-combustion wood fire.

The laser temperature gun must be used under close adult supervision as it is harmful if directed into eyes.

Beautiful stained glass windows are a feature of the home – but the windows lack curtains or blinds and so let a lot of cold air in and warm air out.

In one of the children’s bedrooms, recently vacated because of the winter chill, the wall temperature at bed height measured only 8 degrees celcius (and that was while it was a sunny 16 degrees outside). No window coverings makes thermal control very difficult.

Back in the kitchen and by shining the laser thermometer along the seals on either side of the fridge door, it becomes obvious there is more than a 4 degree temperature difference between the top and bottom – and the fridge is just one year old. Time to replace the sealing already?

Measuring the temperature of fridge seals shows energy being wasted - again the laser gun being used under close adult supervision.

Tips for old homes from SOT consultant Alison Elvin: top up roof insulation to R5 level or more, cover your glass, stop your draughts, attach velcro buttons between the inside edge of window coverings and the window frames to stop cold air getting in, invest in a reversible ceiling fan to disperse heat sitting just under the ceiling, shutters on the outside of windows and pelmets on the inside are effective, even…wait for it.. bubble wrap blinds. Now there’s a recycling idea.

You can book a FREE energy audit of your home by calling Sustaining Our Towns on 1300 994 289.

Home and Energy Reviews will also look at the efficiency of your water management systems, including pumps and options for recycling waste water. Free energy reviews are available in the local area until the end of 2011.


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