Don’t let your heating bills get you hot under the collar! Cost-effective options are available.
Keeping your home warm in winter is just as important as keeping it cool in summer. But you don’t have to choose between heating and saving money. You can have both. We explore several heating options in this article including ducted heating, home insulation, split systems and even traditional wood fire heaters.
Home heating options—the good, the bad and the economic
Just like cooling, home heating comes in many shapes and sizes. It ranges in cost and efficiency, which becomes confusing when you are trying to decide on one option for your house. There are so many factors to consider before deciding what is right for you and your needs.
#1 Home insulation
If you are building your home and are planning your heating and cooling, insulation is the easiest and most cost-effective option. Most people don’t realise that up to half of the heating or cooling used in a house won’t be retained unless insulation is installed.
The level of insulation that your house needs will depend on your particular home, the orientation and, of course, the local climate. It is advised to have roof sarking in addition to the appropriate R-value ceiling and wall insulation installed at a minimum.
- Once it is installed you don’t have to service it or maintain it.
- It effectively improves comfort by keeping your house warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
- Insulation shrinks your electricity usage by reducing the amount of heat transfer in and out of your home. This ultimately leads to you saving money on your power bill!
#2 Ducted heating
Ducted heating offers some distinct benefits that the alternatives don’t. You want your home to look modern and ducted air conditioning systems with reverse cycle heating do not disappoint. Thanks to their streamlined appearance (all the ducting being concealed in the ceiling and the condenser outside), you won’t have a large box hanging on your wall above the dinner table.
- You can install the right size ducted system for your home, which means the motor won’t have to work harder to heat the house. This reduces the amount of electricity you use and therefore saves you money!
- Zoning options—you can have certain zones installed that allows you to heat particular areas or rooms of your home. If only one region of the house is used at a time, this is an ideal heating option!
- When serviced and maintained, they last upwards of 15 years.
- While the internal ducts are concealed, the condenser is not. Even though it will be installed outside it should be noted that when the system is initially turned on, it can make a little bit of noise. This does ease to a soft whirr quickly as the motor hums along, but for the sake of comfort, it is ideal to locate it away from entertaining areas and bedroom windows.
- With prices varying from $8000 to $20 000, ducted heating is more expensive in upfront costs than other heating options. Long-term, however, this is the most cost-effective option for you and your home.
#3 Split system/reverse cycle
Split systems are a popular option for home owners and landlords. They provide efficient heating for open-plan living homes and are affordable to install.
- These are affordable to install and to run, providing you opt for a system specifically designed for the size of room you intend to heat/cool. If you overwork the motor, it will cost more to run and will result in the motor burning out.
- Split systems are effective in heating single rooms on their own very quickly and you can select a specific temperature for maximum comfort.
- Each system requires its own condenser. If you are installing three systems then you need to ensure you have enough space for three external fans as well.
- They require regular servicing for energy-efficient heating.
#4 Woodfire heaters
One of the most traditional forms of heating is the wood fire heater and it is still heavily used today! It makes for many happy memories of the family sitting around the fire, drinking hot chocolates and huddling for warmth. It is an effective option if you spend a lot of time in that particular room, but it doesn’t warm the rest of the house effectively.
- Wood is easily accessible and very affordable if you can collect free from your property or local forest.
- Is easy to use and maintain.
- Needs regular soot and ash removal.
- Expensive to install because it requires a chimney to release gases.
- It is not as safe as other options if you have children or pets.
#5 Portable plug-in heaters
For many, this is the only option they have available to heat the home. Where the area to heat is relatively small, like a small living room or studio apartment, portable heaters can provide sufficient warmth. In other cases, they can be used in addition to alternative heating devices for extra warmth. Heaters may be oil heaters or even heater strips.
- Instant warmth when sitting nearby.
- Cheap to buy upfront.
- While generally affordable to purchase upfront, the ongoing costs such as electricity and replacing every few years add up fast.
- Not energy-efficient.
- Do not heat large areas.
- Potentially dangerous.
Australia’s climate is harsh, which makes heating and cooling a balancing act for residents. Next to the comfort of your family, affordability is typically next on the list of ‘must haves’. It is important to remember that just because one option may appear to be better than another, this doesn’t always mean it’s the best fit for your needs.
If your budget permits, installing ducted heating with the benefit of separate zones will add to your comfort levels, your property value and your bank account by reducing electricity costs and increasing efficiency. Ducted heating is one of the most commonly installed due to its design and ability to use single zones as needed.
For more information on what air conditioning and heating solutions are right for your family, you need to ask yourself a few simple but crucial questions. You can find them here!
For the right advice on ducted heating, contact the professionals at Crown Power a call today on 0427 175 654.