With the cold weather creeping in across the country, now is the time to start thinking about the best way to heat your home this winter.
Heating your home can cost a lot of money in energy usage, so CHOICE's experts have put together their top tips on how you can stay cosy this winter without breaking the bank.
"Heating costs can cause a significant spike in your electricity bill, but luckily there are lots of easy things you can do around your house to keep the heat in and save money," says Chris Barnes, CHOICE heating expert (pictured above).
Here are CHOICE's top tips for keeping your home warm this winter (or read the full story on our website):
1. Decide which heating option fits your budget best.
"Based on running costs alone, reverse-cycle air conditioning is easily the cheapest way to warm your home. Our estimates show that a reverse-cycle air conditioner will cost only a little more to run for the entire year than an electric heater will cost to run just for three months over winter. The problem with reverse-cycle air conditioners is that they have a big upfront cost," says Barnes.
"If you're renting or don't have a spare couple of thousand dollars available to install reverse-cycle air conditioning, a portable electric heater is a convenient option with low upfront costs. They don't require installation and prices typically start at about $30. Unfortunately, portable electric heaters are not energy efficient and our lab tests show they can cost a lot to run."
"However, there are a number of simple things you can do at home to reduce the need to run your portable heater so frequently - sometimes it's as easy as closing a curtain."
2. Track down and seal draughts.
"Tracking down the draughts in your home and sealing them up will keep your home warmer, and help you save money on energy bills. If you're having trouble detecting where the draughts are in your home, light a candle or incense stick and run it along the gaps under doors and around windows. A draught will become obvious as the flame flickers or smoke blows around," says Barnes.
"There are a few ways that you can seal up any draughts that you find in your home. You can buy weather seal tape or draught strips from your local hardware store to fill gaps, or you can use a good old-fashioned door snake."
3. Use your curtains!
"Did you know that up to 40% of heating energy can be lost through your windows? Closing your curtains or blinds can make a big difference when it comes to keeping warmth inside your home," says Barnes.
4 Switch your ceiling fans to reverse.
"Switch your fans to reverse or winter mode, and use them in combination with your heating system. This will help to spread the hot air more evenly throughout your home, and will make sure that it's not just hanging around the ceiling. Our lab tests found that using your ceiling fan in reverse means that your heater has to do far less work - which means lower power consumption, and lower bills," says Barnes.
5. Ask your energy provider for a better deal, or switch to a new one.
"If you've been with the same energy provider for a while, it's always a good idea to call and ask them if they can give you a better deal. You can also compare energy plans using Energy Made Easy or Victorian Energy Compare, depending on what state you're in," says Barnes.
Read the full story here: https://www.choice.com.au/heatingtips
Media contact: Jim Hook, 0430 172 669, firstname.lastname@example.org