How to Keep Energy Costs Down This Winter: 8 Heating Mistakes to Avoid

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In case you haven’t already felt it, winter is in full effect, with temperatures dropping to as low as 3 degrees celsius in Perth. 

Dad’s probably already dug up last year’s old dusty heating unit from the shed and has it cranking from dusk till dawn. But we all know he’s in for a nasty surprise once the energy bill arrives.

Whether you’re upgrading to a new system or running an older heating system, it pays to know which heating mistakes to avoid and save yourself a bit of money.

To help keep your energy costs down this winter, here are 8 heating mistakes to avoid.

1. Don’t always go for the most expensive heating option

It’s important to remember that price is always the best indicator for performance. For example, choosing an expensive ducted heating air conditioning system over a reverse cycle heating system with a higher energy rating isn’t going to save you more. 

Factors that can affect your decision include the size of the room and system. Simply dropping some cash on a high-end gas heating system or split system without speaking to a professional may result in high running costs and an expensive energy bill.

2. Avoid buying an el cheapo heater

Who would’ve guessed it? Going for the cheapest model can also leave cold and out of pocket. For example, CHOICE discovered the worst electric heaters to buy, which included $59 Kmart Anko DL03L had the worst score in the test, with a heating score of 38%. 

However, that doesn’t take the cake. The Noirot 7358-7T, costing a whopping $459, brought in a heating score of 50% for eight times the price. It goes to show, price isn’t always a good performance indicator. 

3. Assuming all heaters cost the same to run

Again, cost isn’t always the best indicator of how energy efficient a heater will be. Whether you plan to run it all night or just the times you’re getting ready for bed, most heaters will have similar running costs.  

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(Source: How to find best portable electric heater)

But if you’d like to skip the numbers, you can find the best electric heaters to buy in 2021 here.

4. Skipping your annual heating and air conditioning service and maintenance 

Similar to your vehicle, even heaters and air conditioners need a little love to ensure they are working their best all year round. Over time, air filters can get clogged up with dust, debris and dirt, which causes the heating and air conditioning units to work harder and become less efficient (uses more energy).

Regular air conditioner servicing and maintenance of air filters and heating systems will not only improve energy efficiency, it will also lower ongoing running costs — and reduce your energy bill.

5. Not using your air conditioner for heating

Tossing up between turning on the air conditioner or using an electric heater to warm your home this winter? You’ll be surprised to know that although electric heaters are more convenient and have cheaper upfront costs, running your reverse split cycle is going to be a more efficient heating mode and can save you money on your energy bills. 

There are many advantages to using your reverse cycle air conditioner for heating, including:

  • Better energy efficiency
  • Improved heat distribution
  • Better temperature control

Browse Australia’s most energy efficient split system with an industry leading 7 “super efficient” energy star rating.  

6. Drying the washing on or in front of the heater

Drying the washing in winter can be a difficult task, especially if it’s raining outside. However, plonking your washing in front or on top of the heater won’t do you or your energy bill any favours. Apart from being a potential fire hazard, the restriction of hot air will result in the heater working harder to get the temperature up.

7. Ignoring cold draughts

Air leakage accounts for 15-25% loss of winter heat. Making sure your home is airtight is one of the easiest ways to increase comfort in your home and save on energy bills. It’s also an essential step towards a passive house.

This means making sure all windows are closed and locked, curtains are closed, and gappy floorboards are covered with rugs. If you’re down for some home DIY, use things such as weather seal tape or draught strips from Bunnings to help fill in gaps. 

8. Disregarding insulation

When it comes to trapping the heat in your home and keeping the energy bills down, insulation is a no-brainer. Insulation reduces up to 35% heat loss through the ceiling and can save you hundreds of dollars on energy bills each year. 

Minimum insulation level (Total R-value) for Perth:

  • roof/ceiling: 4.1
  • Wall: 2.8   

*These minimum insulation levels are higher if your roof has an upper surface absorbance value of more than 0.4.

Let Us Help You Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Solution for Your Home

Different heating and cooling systems will work for you, depending on your needs. You must assess your space and your year-round needs before deciding on which heating and air conditioning installation will provide you with the most cost-effective option.

All Air Services can help you assess your needs and provide you with various air conditioning options for residential or business properties. Contact us today if you need assistance with determining what the ideal system is or receive a quote for installing one of our units.

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