Air Conditioning

Choosing the Right Heating System for Your Home This Winter

The wintry season is difficult especially when it affects your health and productivity. But with a few considerations, the cold weather can be more bearable.

Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2008 data shows that 77% of Australian homes make use of a heater – where 32% of which have two or more heaters in their house.

Different forms of heating systems are available throughout the country. Some of them include gas heaters, reverse-cycle air conditioners and electric heaters. Before you make a decision, let’s get familiarised with each type to help you determine what suits your property and lifestyle.

Gas Heaters

A gas heater is the most common type of heating as stated in the ABS Household Energy Use and Conservation data – where more than one-quarter of households (26%) were using such in 2008.

Gas heaters draw their ability to produce heat through the use of natural gas or LPG. This heating system comes with two variations: flued and portable. Flued types make use of pipes to expel gas fumes outside the house. It has thermostats and more options to control the temperature settings. High-quality models also have electronic ignition, allowing you to save money on energy bills. Portable gas heaters, on the other hand, provide instant heat and have safety features that help the device to turn off automatically when something goes wrong.

Products of this type are more efficient and appropriate for large areas. If you’re heating a small room, buying this type is not advisable as it may consume a large amount of gas. Homeowners and renters can choose which classification meets their heating needs in a particular situation. For instance, portable units are more beneficial to people renting a house.

Reverse-cycle Air Conditioners

A reverse-cycle air conditioner or a heat pump is a system with both heating and cooling functions. Unlike standard ACs, this type uses two power units (kWs): one for heating capability and the other for cooling.

Next to gas heaters, reverse cycle units are used by 18% of Australian homes. Some of its types are split and ducted systems, wall-mounted units and multi-head split systems. Becoming aware of their functions and benefits, as well as their limitations, can assist you in narrowing down your options.

A reverse-cycle AC unit is efficient not only during winter but also in summer. Although the initial buying cost is expensive, the expected running cost is cheaper. They provide warmth and comfort to people within the house, regardless of the outside climate conditions.

Like gas heaters, reverse cycle ACs are suitable for houses or rooms with larger areas. It’s advisable to check those products with high energy ratings to ensure their durability and cost-effectiveness.

Electric Heaters

Unlike the first two heating systems, electric heaters are less expensive to purchase but can be costly to run especially if frequently used. The same data provided by ABS confirms that 16% of households were using non-ducted electric units to cope with the cold weather.

Products of this kind are classified into different types such as fan, tower and column heaters. Fan heaters are specifically designed to produce hot air without consuming an excessive amount of energy. It is ideal for individual use and may not be a financial burden. If you are presently renting, you can take advantage of this type as you can take it with you when your lease expires. For other types, you can check with your local technician or electrician during the consultation to clarify the pros and cons of each product variation.

Electric heaters are often used in rooms with minimal spaces. You can maximise its use and efficiency as it works better in small locations.

Heating System Installation

Investing in heating system installation requires careful thought and consideration. Ask yourself these questions first:

  • Does your council permit have any restrictions?
  • Is there a dire need to install a heater in your area?
  • Do you have budget for product and installation fees?
  • Does your property require one or more heating systems?
  • How frequently will it be used?

Your local climate, room size, the frequency of use and number of house occupants are essential things to consider before any decision. These factors can help you identify what type and size are recommended to purchase for long-term use.

Once you’ve finalised everything, you can check existing gaps in your doors, windows, ceilings and walls to ensure you have no heat losses. Your home insulation also plays a vital role in regulating proper heat flow. Monitoring the quality and efficiency of these materials is important to increase your energy savings.

If the job involves complex procedures, it is best to entrust the process to an expert. Professional installers use the correct components and installational guides to ensure manufacturer warranty is not compromised. Your installation will not only be proper and safe but the risks of heating appliances issues will be lessened.

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