There are so many options in the home heating space these days, that it is hard to know where to start. For this reason we have produced this post to give you some ideas about what is suitable for your energy supply, your budget and your home.
There are two types of heating, radiant and convective. Radiant heat directly heats people and objects through radiation of heat, while convective heat is conducted by circulating warm air. Small spaces are best heated using convective heat, while draughty spaces and bathrooms are best heated with radiant heat. Large rooms might require a mix of both.
Firstly when considering a new heating system, assess your energy supply. If natural gas is available in your neighbourhood it is a great option because it is cheaper and more efficient than electricity.
The size of the space you need to heat will greatly effect your choice of heating option. If you are purely looking to heat your bedroom then you might be after a small split system, panel heater or gas space heater. If you are over being cold where ever you go in the house you will likely be interested in installing central heating.
Is your house’s cooling system sufficient? There may be an opportunity to upgrade to a dual heating and cooling solution such as reverse cycle ducted air conditioning or a split system.
It is difficult to define the efficiency and economy of each of these heating options because they are meant for different sized spaces so below they are split into what they are most predominantly used for.
Generally this is a more expensive option because of installation but if you home is well insulated and you use zoning to reduce the area to which heat is required you will be using it in an efficient manner.
Gas: Ducted gas heating
Electric: Reverse cycle air conditioning
If you and your family spend most of your time in the living area/family room, consider just heating that area. It is where meals are taken and time is spent relaxing and being the cosy room in the house you will find you have more family time together.
Gas: Inbuilt and freestanding gas fires or large gas space heating
Electric: Split system heating
Do you need to heat a single room? These options are for smaller spaces.
Gas: Gas space heating
To make the most of your heating solution ensure you have made your house as efficient to heat as possible, by doing the following;
Insulate walls and ceilings and invest in window coverings.
Minimise air leaks through sealing off air draughts.
Minimise the space to be heated, where possible.
Choose a highly efficient heater to reduce running costs.
Some further questions to consider when talking to your local Gas Works heating expert;
Does the heater have a range of heat settings or can it be controlled using a thermostat?
How much noise will the heater make?
Can the heater be zoned, if it is a ducted system?
How efficient is the heater?
How quickly will this heater heat the area?
What are the heater’s installation cost and general running costs?
What are its greenhouse gas emissions?