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  • Home Heating

    What is the Most Cost-Effective Heating for a Home?



February 2018


Heating and cooling makes up an average of 40%1 of our energy usage, which doesn’t include hot water heating. Let’s look at the best ways to heat a house using energy efficient methods.

Most homes in Australia will need to be heated during the course of a year. Yet, with energy-efficient systems installed in your home, you may not need to supplement them with traditional heating.

Your household’s energy consumption will be dependent on:

  • your local climate
  • your heating and cooling system
  • your personal circumstances

Looking at alternative ways of heating your house may result in lower costs. Reduce your carbon footprint and save money by looking at the information below.

Popular heating systems

  • Gas space heaters
    These units can heat up large indoor and outdoor spaces very quickly. They are a very efficient use of gas.
  • Hydronic central heating systems
    This system may use gas, wood, or solar. Hot water is circulated through heating coils, radiator panels, or convectors which push the warm air into the room.
  • Heat shifters
    These units use fans and ducts to force warmed air into the cold parts of your house. These shifters can be cheap to install and run.
  • Portable electric heaters
    Portable heaters are typically cheap to buy, but costly to run. Most portable electric heaters are not considered an energy efficient option.

Efficient heating solutions for small homes

  • Insulation
    Insulation creates a barrier between the inside and outside of your home. It keeps the heat inside in winter, and keeps it out in summer. A well-insulated home offers comfort all year long, while cutting heating and cooling costs by up to 50%.2
  • Solar panels
    This creates solar energy using the sun’s rays on photovoltaic panels. This passive renewable energy form is estimated to have reduced energy consumption by as much as 40%3 in average Australian homes.
  • Double glazed windows
    Double glazed windows, also known as insulated glass, consist of two or three glass panes which are separated by a gas filled gap. This space reduces the heat transfer from one side of the window to the other. This works in a similar way to insulation.

What is the most cost-effective heating for a home?

Gas heaters and reverse cycle air conditioning units generate over 65%4 less greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conventional electric heater. The most efficient reverse cycle air conditioners can produce as much as 80%5 less emissions than standard electric heaters.

Wood is another cost effective heating system if it has been harvested sustainably. However, the burning of wood can contribute to air pollution. You may also consider a fan heater, which provide instant heat.

The availability of gas paired with its decreasing cost makes it the most energy effective heating system for a home.

When all things are considered, insulation is one of the most important factors in your choice. Without adequate insulation, no matter which heating system you select, it will be difficult to retain warmth in the home.

Tips to make your house more energy-efficient

  • Place thermostats away from heat and cooling sources in the rooms used most.
  • Each degree of extra cooling or heating increases your energy usage by up to 10%6.
  • Wear warmer or cooler clothes based on the outside temperature.
  • Ensure that your heater is maintained and that the air filters are cleaned.
  • Unless ventilation is needed, close windows, doors, and curtains in the rooms you are heating.

The final word

With heating and cooling making up such a large part of the household energy bill, you may consider alternative ways of heating your house. These efficient systems may reduce your energy consumption, as well as your carbon footprint and money spent.


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