Heating options for your home buying guide

How to keep your home warm this winter. Get unbiased advice and reviews on heaters and heating options.
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Did you freeze last winter? Were you in shock after reading the energy bill? Then it may be time to change the way you heat your home.

  • First, go back to basics: are you using the right fuel for your needs? Consider what's available (for example, can you get natural gas in your neighbourhood?), the fuel's cost (can you perhaps get cheap or even free firewood?) and its environmental impact (for example, does your electricity supplier offer a green-power scheme?).
  • Once you've decided on a fuel, you need to find the right type of heater. Do you want to heat a person, a room or your whole house?
  • If you only want to heat a small area or use the heater only occasionally, you probably want a heater that's cheap to buy, even if it's dearer to run than more expensive types.
  • If you want to heat a large area for long periods, you need an efficient heater with low running costs. So it may make sense to pay more initially for the heater and its installation, because it'll pay off in the long run.
  • And you need to calculate the right size of heater for your needs. Take into account factors such as whether you have insulation and the size of your windows.

In this article

  • The pros and cons of the main heating fuels (electricity, natural gas and solid fuels), what they'll cost and how much they contribute to the greenhouse effect.
  • Which heater to use for which purpose (heating a room or the whole house).
  • Calculate the right heating capacity for your situation.
  • Heating tips that'll save you money.

Ready to buy a heater?

Check out these CHOICE tests:

Looking for an alternative to electric heating? Visit our insulation buying guide for tips on how to keep warm and keep your costs down.
For more information on Heating and cooling, see Household.


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