Buying the right heater

May 2012

Crisp mornings and cold evenings are usually a trigger for households to go searching for a new heater, but it pays to buy the right option for your home and family.

Ausgrid’s energy efficiency expert Paul Myors said if you’re looking to change or upgrade your home’s heating this winter it’s important to know how the costs of different appliances compare. 

There are many inexpensive options out there like personal fan heaters but they can cost you more to run it in one week than the cost of the heater itself. 

A typical electric heater running for four hours every evening over winter can cost you more than $100 and will generate up to 750 kilograms of CO2.  

If you’re looking to keep a bedroom warm, oil column heaters heat slowly and are safe to run while you sleep. But it’s best to choose one with a timer so it doesn’t run all night. 

An efficient gas heater or reverse cycle air-conditioner is recommended for larger areas. If used efficiently they cost about one third less to run compared to electric heaters. 

It’s important to get expert advice for gas heaters as unflued ones need plenty of ventilation. 

Our research shows more than 80 per cent of households overheat their homes so it’s important to use your heater efficiently and only heat the room you’re using. 

Every degree you heat above 21 degrees Celsius adds about 10 per cent to your heating costs, so set thermostats between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius and keep doors and windows closed.

Find more tips in Ausgrid’s winter heating guide.

Compare different heating appliances