Keeping our homes warm and cosy becomes a priority for many Australian families in winter. When considering heating systems, it is important to take into account the wide range of options available – so that in addition to keeping your house sufficiently warm, you can be conscious of your impact on the environment and avoid excessively high energy bills!
Which is the best heating system for your home in Australia?
According to the Department of Environment and Energy, 40% of the energy used in the home powers our heating and cooling systems. This amount varies depending on circumstances and climate, but is indicative of the importance of selecting an appropriate heating and cooling option for your home. The wide range of heaters available covers everything from space heaters through to ducted central heating – and the two most common power sources that drive these systems are electricity and gas.
Whether you prefer central or space heating, powered by electricity or gas; the best option for your home will depend on individual circumstances such as the size of your house and rooms being heated, personal temperature preferences and local climate. It is important to consider all of these factors, as well as your household heating requirements, before making a decision on which option is most suitable.
Below is an overview of the most common electric and gas heating systems available, to help you consider the most effective way to heat your home; keeping your energy usage and subsequent costs in mind.
There is generally a greater variety to choose from in the electric heater range, when compared with gas-powered systems. However, it is important to keep in mind that electric heaters tend to produce higher amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than their counterparts.
Electric Space Heaters
Portable electric space heaters can be an effective method for heating small rooms over a short amount of time. They are cheap to purchase and able to be moved around from room to room, but can also be expensive to run. It is recommended that you consider heaters with a built-in thermostat and timer, which can assist with reducing energy usage and help save on bills. Whilst electric systems produce high greenhouse gas emissions, depending on individual requirements, using a small electric space heater for localised heating can be cheaper and have lower emissions than using gas to heat a large area.
Ducted Reverse-Cycle Air Conditioning
A ducted reverse-cycle air conditioning system allows you to control the temperature of multiple rooms in a large home. A central unit heats and cools each area evenly, connected by ducts to air outlets throughout the house. This method is more environmentally friendly than portable heaters, producing only one-third the greenhouse gases of standard electric space heaters, and has the advantage of being able to heat as well as cool in the summer months.
If finding a more environmentally friendly method is important for your household, gas heating can produce lower greenhouse gas emissions than electric heaters and can also present a more cost-effective option for your home. Gas-powered heaters display an energy star rating to inform you of the efficiency of the heater, allowing you to compare the energy efficiency of different models.
Regardless of the system type, it is recommended that you call a local plumber to carry out a professional gas heater service regularly, to ensure safe and effective operation. The experienced technicians at Service Today are able to assist with gas heater installation, service or repairs.
Gas Space Heaters
A gas space heater or wall furnace can be cheaper to run than a portable electric heater, and will quickly and efficiently heat a small to medium-sized room. However, unlike electric heaters, gas systems require adequate ventilation due to the potential emission of carbon monoxide – a poisonous gas that can be produced by these appliances. Externally flued gas heaters expel unhealthy exhaust gases directly outside and allow for more efficient operation, whereas the portable and unflued varieties expel water vapour and gases directly into the room being heated – meaning doors or windows need to be kept open to allow adequate ventilation, which subsequently reduces the effectiveness of the heater.
Gas Ducted Heating
These central heating systems are designed to deliver and maintain a steady, consistent temperature to all rooms in the house. A gas boiler heats air and then disperses the warm air into each room through low or high-level vents; thermostat control allows for the temperature to be controlled in various areas simultaneously. Although installation costs can be high, a ducted system can work out cheaper than utilising multiple gas space heaters at the same time.
How can I make heating my home cheaper?
The choice between electric vs. gas heating; which is the cheaper, most effective and more environmentally friendly option, will depend on individual circumstances and heating requirements. However, there are ways to ensure your home is as thermally efficient as possible, meaning that whichever heating method you employ – the heat will be kept inside in winter and outside in summer, thereby keeping energy costs down.
Eliminating all draughts so that warm air is not escaping (except when using a portable, unflued gas heater – as these require ventilation), is one way to ensure heating efficiency. Equally important is having sound insulation in ceilings, walls, and floors. The simple trick of drawing curtains and blinds can also help to keep the warmth from being drawn out through windows.
Filters on any heater should be cleaned regularly, as this will help to improve performance and heating capability. Service Today offers expert air conditioner and duct cleaning services, using state-of-the-art cleaning methods to improve the airflow and efficiency of any ducted heating and cooling system; both extending the life of the system and lowering your power bills.
If you are considering one of the many options available to keep your house warm and energy bills down, give the heating experts at Service Today a call. We can provide professional advice on all heating and cooling solutions so that you can make a knowledgeable decision on the system best suited to your property – and our highly skilled technicians can take care of any heater installation, maintenance or repair requirements. Call us today on 1300 859 383.