Let’s face it, Australia can get pretty cold during the winter months and when that happens you’ll be looking for quick and easy ways to keep yourself feeling cosy without having to endure the big heating bills.
The good news is there are several ways you can heat your home using less power and still achieve maximum efficiency.
There are three main types of heaters: electric heaters, gas heaters and reverse-cycle air-conditioners.
Electric heaters are usually portable, cheap to purchase and great for small spaces and short periods of time.
If there’s gas in your area you might want to consider it for heating as it can be very efficient and as far as value for money goes, gas is good. Another plus to gas heating is that it could be cheaper than having an electric portable if you are wanting to heat your home throughout the day. The downside to gas heating is the small amounts of carbon monoxide that can be dangerous, as well as the water vapour that has the potential to create mould around your home.
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Reverse-cycle air-conditioners might be more expensive to buy at the start, but long-term they are a good investment because they use less power and generate quite a lot of heat. If you have a large space, this option is a good one to consider.
Another thing you’ll want to investigate is the insulation in your house. Check what’s going on in your ceiling, look at your windows and doors for any gaps that can be draught-proofed, and when heating be sure to close doors to unheated areas to ensure maximum efficiency.
What about other heating options?
You can invest in a wood-burning stove or a fireplace. You might even already have one. Not only can they make a room look comfortable, they can also make it feel that way with the heat they give off.
Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can be cost effective. Wood is available almost everywhere and it can be very economical, but if you’re not comfortable loading and maintaining a fire or disposing of ash having a wood-burning stove or fireplace might not be for you. The other thing about these two is that you must have a flue or a chimney in your home to remove the nasty combustion gases created by the fire.
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Ways to keep your heating cheap
First and foremost you only want to be heating the rooms you are actually using.
Second, remember that hot air rises so if you have a high ceiling or a fan with a reverse-direction option you might want to give some thought to turning the fan on a low speed to help move the hot air around more evenly through the room.
If you’re really concerned about the cost of heating your home there are some insanely cheeky ways to keep warm including drinking warm beverages, piling on the layers and placing a hot water bottle in the base of your bed so that your feet are warmed when you climb in for sleep.
How are you faring this winter? What tips do you have for staying warm at home?