07 Sep 2015

Did you know that almost half of the energy used in Australian homes is for the purposes of heating and cooling? Most homeowners decide to install some form of heating or cooling, and the type of system required will depend on the surrounding climate and how efficient the house is in terms of natural insulation. One of the greatest challenges for a new home is ensuring it’s sufficiently equipped for all seasons, without the homeowner needing to experience a nasty bill shock every month. So what are the various options for heating and cooling your new home?

Did you know that almost half of the energy used in Australian homes is for the purposes of heating and cooling? Most homeowners decide to install some form of heating or cooling, and the type of system required will depend on the surrounding climate and how efficient the house is in terms of natural insulation. One of the greatest challenges for a new home is ensuring it’s sufficiently equipped for all seasons, without the homeowner needing to experience a nasty bill shock every month. So what are the various options for heating and cooling your new home?

Fireplace

Old fashioned but romantic and effective, the humble fireplace is still used in many homes. Modern fireplaces differ from the traditional fireplaces of the past, made to aid efficiency and create less mess, while simultaneously reducing the risk of fire. Electric fireplaces are also available, providing electric heating with the ambience of a fireplace.

Electric heater

These types of heaters simply plug into a power socket, and the portable versions usually use a heating element and fan. These are largely considered inefficient from an energy consumption perspective, and their effectiveness is generally not as good as other heating methods. Electric heaters also come in oil form, which creates a more ambient heat.

Gas heater

A gas heater is generally cheaper to run than its equivalent electric counterparts. Many Australian households like gas heaters as they’re effective for in-room heating, and many new homes are built to include gas outlets.

Reverse cycle air conditioning

This is considered the most efficient way to heat your home, using heat pumps powered by electricity. Reverse cycle air conditioning has the added benefit of providing air filtration, and they’re able to create and hold a relatively constant room temperature with the use of thermostats. This type of technology can be installed via split units (which are wall mounted) or ducted (where vents are installed in each room, with zoning allocations).

Fan

Ceiling fans are an economical way to keep you cool during the warmer months, and can be used in place of air conditioning when temperatures are warm but not extreme. Portable fans are also an option, simply operating by being plugged into a wall socket for power.

Evaporative cooler

This system uses outside air, which is drawn across wet pads and distributed with a fan, creating a cooling effect in the room. While this is more efficient than an air conditioner, it is not as effective for use in humid climates.

Reverse cycle air conditioning

The same unit that can be used for heating can also be used for cooling! Reverse cycle air conditioners cool air using electric power, and blows it throughout a room, regulating a consistent temperature with the thermostat. Ducted options allow separation of zones, so you don’t need to waste energy cooling areas of your home that aren’t being used.

There are a number of methods available to heat or cool your home and your ideal choice will depend on your particular needs. Opting for the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly options is the best approach for those who are conscious of our environment and their wallets, however the decision is entirely yours! Before investigating your needs, it’s also wise to consider how the design of your home could affect its natural insulation properties. For example, shaded areas, blinds, and window placement can all have an effect on your natural insulation.