Tag: winter

Shave Dollars Off Your Energy Bill with Smart Household Appliances

With many Aussies still working from home on a full-time or part-time basis, looming bill shock may be anticipated. For those mindful of the spike in energy usage, everyday household appliances may be the power-draining items to look out for. With around 30 per cent of total household energy consumption coming from appliances, it can pay to check the energy star rating.

You might think you are saving money by not purchasing new appliances. However, an old fridge in the garage or dated washing machine may be using more energy than you think – and eating a hole through your wallet along the way.

If you are wondering how much you can save on your energy bill by having a more efficient appliance, we have calculated the amount saved on a five-star model compared with a three-star model using the Energy Rating Calculator.

For example, a three-star rated, two-door 400L fridge and freezer costs $106.44 annually to run, while a similar model with a five-star energy rating costs $63.11. This could see you save $43.33 annually and more than $400 over ten years.

Star rating
Annual running cost
Annual savings by using five-star model


3 stars



5 stars



3 stars



5 stars


Washing machine

3 stars



5 stars



3 stars






3 stars



5 stars


*All savings are indicative, based on an average Queensland electricity rate of 26.2 c/kWh and using the default sizes and number of uses as set by the Energy Rating Calculator for each appliance.

= $178.27 in total


To avoid throwing unnecessary dollars toward your energy bill, be sure to check the star rating on your common household items. It’s a good idea to understand how the energy usage works on appliances. If you find you need an upgrade, it pays to know how the energy rating system works and what’s behind each of the stars on the label so you can make informed purchases. Most appliances are rated out of six stars, with the most advanced models being rated out of 10. Each star indicates how much energy the appliance uses, which can then be compared with other models of the same size or similar capacity.

To help Aussies reduce their power bill, below are four tips for reducing energy consumption on common household appliances.

  1. Set your fridge between three and four degrees Celsius to conserve energy. By keeping your fridge at this optimal temperature, it will not have to work as hard to stay cool. Anything below this mark will use an extra five per cent of energy. The same scale applies to freezers, which should be set between -15 and -18 degrees Celsius.
  2. Wash with cold water and use the clothesline. Depending on what model of washing machine you have, a hot water cycle uses approximately 50-80 per cent more energy than cold water. Instead of using the dryer, use the clothesline where possible for zero energy cost – particularly in the warmer months where clothes can dry naturally in just a few hours.
  3. Use the dishwasher sparingly. Reduce the number of times that you run your dishwasher each week by only doing a load when it is full. To further conserve energy, open the door to let utensils dry instead of using the drying cycle. Hot water is also a major energy-sucker, so make sure you set the temperature to as low as possible and use cold water if you are pre-rinsing your dishes.
  4. Downsize your TV screen. With the average Aussie home having two or more televisions,[4] choosing a smaller model that is more energy-efficient can help reduce household bills. The type of screen also contributes to energy consumption, with LED and LCDs using less electricity than plasma screens.

It is recommended that Aussies compare energy providers to double-check whether they are on the best plan from their energy provider or if they can cut costs even further by switching. To find a plan that suits your needs the most, free online comparison websites like this compare usage rates and plans from the country’s top providers.

About the Author

Abigail Koch is a household savings expert at Compare the Market. Abigail provides her expertise on various ways Aussies can reduce their bills and household expenses. Having a young family herself, Abigail is passionate about empowering consumers to seek out the best providers and insurance policies to suit their lifestyle and needs. For more information about how to compare and switch energy plans, banking products and insurance policies, visit comparethemarket.com.au.


Learn more ways to save money here. 



This Heater Will Keep You Warm This Winter for the Lowest Cost

It’s winter in Far North Queensland. Some can handle the mercury dropping below 20 degrees, but if you’re like me – once it drops below 25… I’m freezing. We have had some cold nights and needed to whip out the trusty heater to combat the chill factor. In fact, data shows that households are using about 16 per cent more electricity overall during this pandemic than at the same time last year, due to working from home. But with using a heater comes the issue of the cost to run it. These costs can deter people from turning it on or even buying one in the first place.

One of our favourite Australian companies, Andatech, has decided to offer a solution to the problem of staying warm and cosy without the high cost.

Their Ionmax Ray Heater is almost half the cost of reverse cycle air conditioners. They’re also one third of the operating cost of space heaters!

Heaters that use Far Infrared thermal waves (like the Ray Heater) are very economical to run, but they’re also healthier. It does not circulate or produce hot or warm air, so it will not dry out the indoor air or reduce humidity and oxygen. It also won’t spread allergens, add anything to the air in general, or create static electricity.

How do they work? Let’s get into the science.

First let’s establish why Far Infrared Radiation waves are important for heating. In summer, windows let these waves from the sun enter our rooms. Floors, objects, walls, you name it, warm up and emit FIR waves that our body feels as heat. In winter there is less FIR radiation from the Sun, so the floors, walls, objects etc are colder and do not give off the same amount FIR radiation.

To put it in a different way: FIR radiation is what makes rooms feel much warmer in summer than they do in winter, even though the rooms could be the exact same temperature.

The key to this heater is that it emits FIR radiation, replacing the heat that is normally missed in winter. It heats objects, not the air, like other heaters do. The minute you turn on the Ionmax Ray Heater, you will feel the warmth. There’s no standing eagerly right next to the heater to feel warm, no waiting half an hour or more to be able to walk around the room and remain warm. And THAT’S why we recommend this heater.

Jaka Exstrada, product specialist at Andatech, puts it well when he says, “When working at a table or desk in one room or part of a room, it’s the people who need to keep warm, not the whole air mass.”

Other types of common heaters are not as cost effective because they heat up the space and not the people. More heat is required to do so, therefore more electricity is required, and this results in the higher costs to run them.

Some other features we love:

  • The heater is portable and has a handle so you can pick it up and put it right down wherever you want. Want it by the couch? Easy! Want to put it next to the crib so your little one can stay nice and cosy? No problem!
  • The design of the heater allows for it to move downwards 10 degrees and 30 degree upwards if you choose. It also has an auto swing of 70 degrees and a 60-degree manual rotation.
  • Parents don’t have to worry about the safety of this heater as it comes with an in-built child lock, overheat cut-off, tilt-off protection. Not to mention the 10 hour auto switch off, letting you go to sleep without needing to wake up and turn it off yourself.
  • The control panel lets you set a timer (one hour increments up to nine hours) and choose your desired level of heat with setting from 200W up to 1200W.

You can learn more about this awesome heater and even order it on the Andatech website. Here you can view a comparison between costs of running a standard heater versus the Ionmax Ray Heater per year.

Check out our blog on The Benefits of Air Purifiers here and why we love the Andatech ones (you can even get a discount code!).

About Andatech:

Andatech is a 100% Australian owned company that designs, supplies, supports and services safety and wellness products including high quality alcohol and drug testing equipment, and air quality products. The company has the widest range of Australian Standard-certified breathalysers in Australia, which are designed for personal use, in workplaces, at hospitality venues (wall mounted) and as car interlock devices. Drug testing kits cover saliva and urine testing of 7 drug groups providing error-free results. Air quality products include dehumidifiers, air purifiers, humidifiers and aroma diffusers. Other safety products include dash cams and vehicle jump starter power banks. andatech.com.au and andatechdistribution.com.au




The Best Time of Year to Sell Your Property – Mackay Regional Real Estate

Robyn Faa

Mackay Regional Real Estate

Dear Robyn,

Hi Robyn, is there a “best” time of year to sell my property?

Not really. Generally speaking, you can sell your property at any time of the year. There are always buyers in the market place looking for their dream home, and your property is bound to be perfect for somebody.

However, timing can make a huge difference to the price you receive for your home and how quickly you make the sale. The end of year tends to increase transient buyers, whereas end of financial year brings out the investors. That being said, we do have peaks and troughs in the market place, and there are definitely some influences that may affect attendances at open homes.

Attendances at open homes over long weekends usually decrease because people go into relaxing mode. School holidays also seem to change families’ routines, with many heading out of town or spending time together, so attendances may be lower.

Also, during the two weeks straddling Christmas and New Year’s (when the solicitors offices are closed), everyone is distracted with holidays, gifts and celebrating, often resulting in less visitors.

The weather can influence attendance, too. Stinking hot weather keeps people away, because it’s just not comfortable to be outdoors. However, this is a good reminder to make sure your air conditioners are working. Rain may also keep buyers away, but it shouldn’t, as this is when they can come along and see leaks, run off and water pooling in the yard.

If you’d like my help, I’d love to hear from you.

P 0419 623 263


Read more advice from the Mackay experts here. 





Are you a parent who becomes frustrated with the weather changes this time of year. It seems to be getting warmer and then every few days we get a cold change which seems to bring back that familiar drippy nose or loose cough that you have been fighting all winter!

The season changes are often the most challenging for our body’s immunity. As the body’s immune system appears to have to work against new and more frequent bacterias, environmental elements such as pollens and dust and of course those fluctuating temperature changes, it really can be a big ask!

Here are five tips to support your family.

1. Do not always assume that your body temperature is that of your children’s.

Different children run hot and cold and have different base thermal temperatures. A great way to empower our children about their health is to encourage and teach them about regulating their own temperature with more or less clothing.

2. Continue with good well rounded nutritional food that you have been doing all season.

It can be tempting to reduce the vegetables and then start over doing the salads now that you have a few warm days. This sudden change can overload and change the digestive function dramatically which can lead to imbalance. Transition your diet slowly from season to season, and in the same way do not overload on new seasonal fruits too quickly!

3. Aconite is excellent!

The homeopathic medicine Aconite is specifically effective in the homeopathic management of ailments such as fever, colds and flus, earaches and sore throats that come on as a result of temperature change.

I find this remedy beneficial to have on hand in the afternoon when playing at the park with my children and the temperature suddenly drops as well as after swimming lessons when children experience a temperature drop from getting out of the water. This traditional medicine is very useful when symptoms come on suddenly and unexpectedly.

4. Assist the body by taking a daily probiotic tablet.

I encourage my patients to take this every night just before bed for greatest impact. This probiotic such as acidophilus bifidis helps to maintain and encourage healthy gut flora balance which is a building block to thriving immunity.

5. Continue with high levels of hydration.

As the temperature changes many children are susceptible to headaches as a result of dehydration. Begin encouraging more water to be drunk by your family at meal times in preparation to creating good habits once the weather warms up for good.

Nicole Cunningham is the Director of www.puraforceremedies.com Nicole has run her own private practice for the past 13 years healing and coaching families and women in all aspects of physical and mental/emotional health in Australia wide and the Asia Pacific. For further information call her direct TOLL FREE 1800 244 449.

**Disclaimer: The information in this article is for general use only and if you have any concerns you should consult your health care professional. Homeopathy is a traditional medicine. It may be used in conjunction with other medicines. For any ongoing chronic condition it is important to be assessed or examined by your healthcare professional specialist. Always seek medical advice in emergencies.