Choose the right heater

June 2015

If you’re looking at heating options for your home warm this winter it pays to think about the space you want to heat.

Ausgrid’s energy efficiency expert Robert Simpson said the winter bill was the highest for a lot of households due to heating costs.

If possible, consider investing in an efficient reverse cycle air-conditioner or gas heater to heat larger areas. They cost more upfront, but if used efficiently they cost up to two thirds less to run compared to electric portable heaters.

There are lots of cheap portable electric heating options available, but you should think about how you will use them.

These types are usually best for personal heating in small spaces and for short periods of time, because while they are cheap to purchase they can be costly to run - It’s easy to spend more money on electricity from using a personal fan heater in one week, than the cost of the heater itself.

Oil column heaters can also be costly to run, but have the advantage of being a safe option to run in a bedroom while you sleep. It’s best to choose one with thermostat or timer so it doesn’t run all night and overheat the room.

A typical electric heater running for four hours every evening over winter can add more than $150 to your electricity bill and will generate up to 750 kilograms of CO2.

Whatever type of heater you have, be sure to use it efficiently and don’t overheat your home. Ausgrid’s research shows more than 80 per cent of households heat their homes to 22 degrees or above.

A comfortable room temperature in winter is considered to be between 18 and 21 degrees. Keep in mind, that each extra degree higher can add 10 per cent to the running costs.

Find more tips in Ausgrid’s winter heating guide.

Column heater