Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Big Winter Chill

So it's been getting a little cool in Melbourne. temperatures around 12 during the day and half that at night. The heater has been getting a bit of a workout, and all seems to be good!

Some observations on planning heating in your new house;
  • We upgraded to a dual zone heater with a better gas efficiency rating. We can heat the whole house, or just downstairs. For a while we were just heating downstairs, but then our master bedroom is an absolute fridge, so we're back to heating the whole house instead of using zones. Might be more useful in a single storey house to have zoned heatin.
  • In the rooms which aren't used much, we've closed off the heating vents and shut the doors if these rooms have one. We also added a big sliding door between the open plan living area and the front of the house, which keeps that area nice and warm! If you're planning your house design, think of adding cavity doors in places. Open plan areas look great in display homes, but in a real-life home, you will want to close off areas for noise, heating/cooling etc. Cavity doors almost disappear into the walls when not used, but are effective in closing off areas when needed.
  • We set the temperature around 19-20, sometimes 21 for a while if it's really cold.
  • The last gas bill was about $100 I think, not too bad! Our energy rating turned out to be just over 5 star. We have put roller blinds over most of the windows, if we used heavy drapes or curtains, I think that would keep the heat in better.
  • Might have been nice to add a heating outlet in our large ensuite, though we're planning to put in a 3-in-1 like an IXL or equivalent once we choose what light fittings to be put in (still haven't got around to that!)
On that note, does anyone have any recommendations for lighting shops in Melbourne? Apart from Beacon there doesn't seem to be much else. Maybe head back to my favourite shop, eBay :)


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Annoying salespeople coming to your door?

So I was talking with someone at work, who complained that her elderly mum-in-law (who lives by herself) had dodgy salespeople talking their way into her house. Certainly a safety and security risk and there's plenty of unscrupulous people out there who will take advantage of those at risk.

Anyway, after a bit of googling, I found a website that have identified this problem and give away "do not knock" stickers.

I ordered a few, one for our front door, one for my friend's mum-in-law, and some to hand out to the rest of our family. I'm not sure how effective these will be, but in out old house there was always someone knocking on the door at dinnertime trying to get us to switch our phone, gas, water, electricity.

Now if they come knocking after this sticker is up, I'll simply take all their details, and find someone to report them to. Apparently if you have this sticker, then it's illegal for door-to-door salesmen to annoy you (though charitable organisations are exempt).

Free DO NOT KNOCK stickers available here from Victoria Legal Aid.

I'm also going through our stash of old clothes and stuff this weekend as I'm hoping to find some blankets to donate to RSPCA Burwood. Don't throw them out, puppies and doggies need winter warmth!



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