A Guide to Heating Your Home This Winter
Most Australians live in temperate climates where managing winter temperatures is easy. Adelaide winters come on stronger, and most of us have some sort of dedicated heating solution. There’s no shortage of options on the market – from portable electric heaters to whole-home gas ducted heating, there’s an appliance for every budget.
The only trick is knowing where to spend your money. Heating is energy-intensive, and the right system can make a huge difference to your back pocket. In this article we’ll explore some of the ins and outs of heating your home, as well as which option is right for you.
The Best Ways to Heat Your Home This Winter
There are three main options for heating your home this winter:
- Portable electric heaters. Electric panel heaters are simple, portable and affordable. That makes them a good solution for heating a small room, but they can be expensive to run. Canstar Blue reports that each portable heater costs about $210 to run during winter.
- Reverse cycle air conditioning. If you already have reverse cycle air conditioning installed in your home, it can also be used to heat your spaces. Reverse cycle air conditioning is highly efficient (costing approximately $160 per year to heat a small room) but it provides less warmth than gas heating.
- Gas ducted heating. Finally, we have gas ducted heating, the best whole-home heating solution. Gas ducted heaters deliver instant warmth to every corner of your home, and gas is one of the most efficient ways to heat your space. Over 90% of the energy used by gas heaters is converted to heat, making them more efficient than electric heaters.
The Benefits of Gas Ducted Heating
1. Save Money On Your Power Bills
South Australians pay Australia’s highest rates for electricity. The good news is that lots of our electricity comes from renewable sources. The bad news is that it drives up the price of power, and that can lead to serious bill shock if you spend all winter running your heaters.
Ducted gas heating is a great solution for staying warm without breaking the bank. Gas heating is substantially more energy-efficient than electric heating, and natural gas also costs less than electricity.
2. Gas Heating is More Environmentally Friendly
The natural gas that powers gas ducted heating systems isn’t just cheaper, it’s also more environmentally friendly than coal-fired electricity. In fact, burning natural gas emits about 50-60% less carbon dioxide than burning coal does.
You can reduce your gas consumption even further by setting your thermostat to 20C. Resist the temptation to crank the temperature up if you don’t need to – it’s better to add a jumper or another blanket if you’re still cold. Don’t forget to use the system’s programming functions to automatically lower the temperature or turn off during the night.
3. Quiet and Efficient Operation
Gas heating works on a simple principle. Small amounts of gas are burned in a controlled chamber. The heat is collected and passed through a heat exchanger. The system draws air over the heat exchanger, warming it up before transferring it throughout your home via ductwork.
Compared to things like reverse cycle air conditioners, gas heaters are quiet, only requiring fans to move air around. As long as the motors are in good condition and the system’s filters are clean and clear of dust, your gas ducted heater should make minimal amounts of noise.
4. Enjoy Instant Warmth Around the Home
This is the real benefit of gas ducted heating! When you fire up a gas heater, it begins providing warmth very quickly (faster than alternatives like reverse cycle air conditioning), and it can be ducted throughout the home.
Most ducted installations also separate your home into different zones. That allows you to direct heat to the rooms you’re using, and close off rooms that aren’t in use. This saves energy and reduces your gas bills even further.
How Much Does it Cost to Run Gas Ducted Heating?
The ongoing running costs of gas ducted heating depends on the size of the system, how many rooms you’re heating, electricity costs in your area, and more. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay about $15.50 per day to run a gas ducted heater in Adelaide. This number is based on a gas price of 4.7c/MJ and assumes the system is run at full capacity for 4 hours each day.
In reality, it’s likely to cost far less than $15.50 per day to run your gas ducted heating. Once your home is up to temperature, modern heaters only consume small amounts of energy to maintain the warmth, so you can run the heater without worrying about your gas bills.
Tips for Reducing Your Gas Bills This Winter
Heating a home is an energy-intensive process. While gas ducted heaters are highly efficient, there are still a few things you can do to reduce the total amount of energy you’re using:
- Set your thermostat to 18-20C during the day
- Seal air gaps around external doors and windows
- Close the curtains to keep windows insulated
- Use zoning functions to shut off vents in parts of the house that aren’t in use
- Use programming functions to automatically raise and lower the temperature throughout the day and night
- Install a 6-star gas ducted heating system
The best thing you can do to keep your gas bills under control is to invest in regular servicing for your gas ducted heater. As dust and dirt accumulate in the system, your gas ducted heater becomes less efficient, and it consumes more electricity and gas to heat your home. Regular servicing ensures the system is always clean and functioning at its maximum efficiency.
Need to Service Your Gas Ducted Heating This Winter? Contact Air Conditioning Doctor Today!
Gas ducted heating systems offer a huge range of benefits over electric heaters. Especially in Adelaide where winters can be harsh, the extra efficiency and heating capacity of a gas system is well worth the investment.
Getting more from your gas ducted heating means keeping it serviced and performing regular maintenance. With winter on the way, now’s the best time to book an air conditioner service Adelaide wide with the Air Conditioning Doctor! We provide servicing, repairs and regular maintenance programs that can look after most popular gas ducted heating systems. Our team can keep your heaters in great condition and make sure they’re ready for the hard work that’s ahead. Get in touch with us at any time if you’d like to speak to our team or book a service!