When our ‘Aussie’ winter comes around the cold reality sets in. “How am I going to afford to keep warm this winter”. What you need to find is a middle ground between having a home that’s warm and cosy and a resulting energy bill that won’t send you broke.
Besides popping on your favourite pair of ugg boots, rugging up with winter woollies and sipping on a cup of hot chocolate, we give you some tips on how to stay snug-as-a-bug at home this winter.
The main types of heaters include electric heaters, gas heaters and reverse-cycle air conditioners.
These are usually portable, cheaper to buy, and a good option if you’re not using them in large spaces or for long periods. Great for heating small spaces, or individual people and the heat is instant. However, they can be a little more expensive to run unless they have a timer or thermostat to regulate them.
If you have gas in your area these can be very efficient and good value for money.
There are two types – flued (the fumes are redirected outside through a pipe) and unflued (the fumes are pushed out into the room).
Flued models are more expensive to install and slightly less efficient, but unflued models can present issues with the fumes and moisture they expel, so they are subject to regulations and the room needs to be ventilated.
If you’re going to leave a heater on all day, gas is likely to be cheaper than a portable electric heater for most homes. However, gas prices are on the rise and solar power is making electricity much cheaper in many homes, so this may not always be the case.
Gas heaters are great for heating smaller to medium-sized spaces.
Reverse-cycle air conditioners
These will be more expensive to buy than a small electric heater, but very effective in terms of the power they use compared to the heat they generate. Great for a larger space, like an open-plan living area.
How to keep it cheap
- Don’t heat rooms to high tropical temperatures; for example, try 20 degrees instead of 24 degrees. Each degree less will save about 10% on your energy use.
- Only heat the rooms that are actually being used.
- Hot air rises to the ceiling, so if you have a ceiling fan with a reverse-direction option, try using it on a low speed to help circulate the hot air down through the room.
Of course, there is also an open fire….
Wood burning fireplaces look beautiful and provide a cosy feel to the room, especially on a winter’s night. Wood is readily available and can prove quite economical. However maintenance and upkeep can be tricky and a little messy.
‘Free’ heating ideas
- Leave your curtains and blinds open throughout the day to allow the sunlight to warm up your home. Then once the sun goes down, close all window coverings so they act as insulators to keep the heat in.
- Locate and fix any areas creating draughts.
- Take advantage of the heat you produce when cooking by leaving the oven door ajar after cooking, it will warm your kitchen and living area. This is heat you will have created anyway, so why not re-purpose it to cut down on the use of your heater.
We hope we have helped you to keep warm this winter 🙂
For assistance with any residential or commercial decorating or design projects please contact the team of Inspired Spaces.