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The cheapest ways to heat your home this winter

CHOICE experts share their top tips to save money on your electricity bill.

Last updated: 11 April 2024

With cooler months approaching, keeping your home warm at a low price can be tricky. Luckily, CHOICE experts have all the tips and tricks to keep your home warm this winter without breaking the bank. 

"Heating costs can result in high electricity bills, so it's important to do everything you can to reduce your energy use by keeping the heat in," says CHOICE heating expert, Chris Barnes. 

CHOICE's top tips to keep your home warm this winter: 

1. Decide which heating option is best for your budget

"Generally, reverse-cycle air conditioners are cheaper to run than electric heaters. However, they have a high upfront cost of a couple of thousand dollars. If you're renting or can't afford the installment of a reverse-cycle air conditioner, then a portable electric heater is a convenient option with low upfront costs," says Barnes.

"However, be wary of the cost of an electric heater over time. On average, an electric heater will cost you less in the first year, but bills may start to increase in the long run. Be wary of how long your electric heater is on and avoid running multiple heaters in different rooms," says Barnes.

2. Track down and seal draughts

"There are a couple of ways to seal draughts in your home. You can purchase weather seal tape or draught strips, which you can find from your local hardware store. All you have to do is stick the adhesive side to a window frame or door jamb," says Barnes. 

"Door snakes are another favourite trick we like to use when it comes to sealing draughts - if you're crafty, you can even make your own," says Barnes.

"If you're having trouble detecting where the draughts are, light a candle and run it around the windows and gaps under doors. A draught will be obvious when the flame flickers or smoke blows around." 

3. Close your curtains and use rugs

"Closing your curtains or blinds can make a significant difference in keeping your home warm. If you have hard floors, cover them up with rugs. The more distance between the floor and your feet, the better," says Barnes. 

4. Switch your ceiling fans to reverse

"You may not be aware that your ceiling fan most likely has a reverse switch that changes the blades to a clockwise spin. By switching your fan to reverse or winter mode, they'll push the warm air back towards the floor. We recommend using them alongside your heating system for the best results," says Barnes. 

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