Choosing the right home heating
recommended that convection or oil-column heaters are used because the warm air won’t leak away. For poorly insulated older houses with high ceilings, radiant heaters are likely to be more effective – you can feel their heat more directly.
However, they shouldn’t be used in bedrooms or around young children.
Our electricity comes from a combination of renewable (wind, hydro and geothermal) and non- renewable (gas and coal) sources – so it’s only a semiclean fuel.
But in your home, nothing is cleaner. Despite the inexorable rise in the price of electricity, electric heating provides a clean and easy way to heat your home. near the element or body of the heater. The warm air circulates by natural convection around the room. Many have a fan, which tests have shown provides faster warm-up and more even heating.
The most popular type of convection heater is the upright oil-filled column heater.
Panel heaters are convection heaters that mount permanently on a wall and are designed to provide background heat. They are permanently wired and usually use electricity at the normal daytime rate.
Night-storage heaters are also permanently installed convection heaters, but they use off-peak night-rate electricity. They store the heat for slow release during the day. Therefore, as a background heating option for a living area, they are more suitable for people who are home most of the time. For a bedroom area, a night-storage heater in the passage can spread warmth into several rooms.
Portable fan heaters
Fan heaters squat on the floor and provide a blast of warm air directly onto your body. They’re not as good as convection heaters for providing general background warmth, as the fan can be noisy and cause draughts.
These have glowing electric elements with reflectors to radiate heat directly onto you. They provide quick directional heat to a small area of a room and also provide some convection heat.
Heat pumps collect heat from the air outside the house and release it inside. Although they run on electricity they collect far more energy than they use: up to three times as much. The colder it is outside the less efficient they are.
Heat pumps are expensive to buy (from $2750 upwards installed) but very cheap to run. As with any heating, however, the costs mount up if you leave them on all the time over winter. radiant heater will do the job.
Bedrooms require less heat than living areas: you only need to keep the chill off.
Choose from a panel or oil-filled column heater with thermostat and maybe a timer. A night-store heater in the passage is also an option.
Service or workshop areas are best heated by portable fan or radiant heaters.
What are the key features?
Thermostats help maintain an even temperature and conserve electricity.
Timers allow you to turn a heater on to warm up the kitchen before you get up, or to turn a heater off after you have gone to bed.
Fans help a room warm up faster and distribute the air more evenly, by preventing heat build-up near the ceiling.
What are the safety issues?