Spend more to save more in win­ter

Havelock North Village Press - - Omeliving -

Tech­ni­cal ex­pert Chris­tian Ho­ern­ing ofEECAEn­er­gy­wise says spend­ing a bit more up­front on amod­ern­wood­burner, heat pump or flued gas heater works best for larger rooms you want to heat reg­u­larly.

For other rooms used in­fre­quently a por­ta­ble elec­tric heater may work­well. These are cheap to buy but more ex­pen­sive to run. Heat pumps are good for: low run­ning costs (when used prop­erly) in­stant heat con­ve­nience— con­trol the temperature with the ther­mo­stat and timer

heat pumps must be sized cor­rectly for the space and the cli­mate to work well— get a rep­utable in­staller to size the area.

some are a lot more ef­fi­cient than oth­ers— look for En­ergy Star qual­i­fied mod­els.

they­won’t work dur­ing a power cut.

if you live near the coast or in a geo­ther­mal area, check for war­ranties. Modern­wood­burn­ers: low run­ning costs, es­pe­cially if you have free or cheap fire­wood

the en­vi­ron­ment heat­ing large spa­ces heat­ing hot­wa­ter in win­ter. fire­wood must be dry to burn cleanly and ef­fi­ciently, so plan ahead and store it un­der­cover

you need a build­ing con­sent and choose one on the Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment’s list of ap­proved wood burn­ers. Wood pel­let burn­ers, good for: the en­vi­ron­ment— pel­lets burn cleanly

heat con­trol (bet­ter than a wood burner) heat­ing large spa­ces heat­ing hot­wa­ter in­win­ter. they won’twork in a power cut (they use a small amount of elec­tric­ity) you need a build­ing con­sent only au­tho­rised burn­ers can be used in ar­easwith poor air qual­ity.

pel­let prices vary you can­not burn fire­wood. Flued gas (nat­u­ral or LPG) heaters or fire­places good for:

con­ve­nience— con­trol the tem­per­a­ture­with ther­mo­stat and timer

heat­ing larger ar­eas for longer pe­ri­ods

youwill prob­a­bly have to pay a fixed charge for retic­u­lated gas

must be in­stalled by a reg­is­tered gas fit­ter.

some gas space heaters are a lot more ef­fi­cient. Elec­tric heaters are good for: heat­ing a small room in­fre­quently and for short pe­ri­ods very cheap to buy. more ex­pen­sive to run than most other op­tions

dif­fer­ent types (ra­di­ant, con­vec­tion, fan) de­liver heat in var­i­ous ways

dif­fer­ent types all have the same ef­fi­ciency

many have built-in ther­mostats, but gen­er­ally they aren’t very ac­cu­rate. Cen­tral heat­ing is good for: heat­ing your en­tire house con­ve­nience— you can con­trol the temperature with the ther­mo­stat and use the timer

zon­ing— many are zonecon­trolled so you can con­trol the temperature in dif­fer­ent parts of the home. Be aware that: it can be ex­pen­sive to in­stall heat can be sup­plied by a range of heat­ing sys­tems— gas, wood pel­let, hot wa­ter heat pump

it’s worth choos­ing a sys­tem that has an in­di­vid­ual ther­mo­stat for each room

can be very ex­pen­sive to run if your house isn’t well in­su­lated or is draughty.

some are a lot more ef­fi­cient than oth­ers— look for the En­ergy Star.

Un­flued gas (nat­u­ral or LPG) is good for:

back-up heat­ing dur­ing power cuts, if your nor­mal heat­ing re­lies on elec­tric­ity to op­er­ate Be aware that: un­fluedLPGheaters are the most ex­pen­sive form of heat­ing

there are health risks— itwill pol­lute air with toxic gases and large amounts ofwa­ter vapour, so youmust keep at least one win­dow open when it’s in use and never use in bed­rooms

they can make your home damp and­mouldy

por­ta­ble LPGheaters can be a fire risk, as any­thing too close can quickly catch alight.

BET­TER FOR THE EN­VI­RON­MENT: Wood pel­let stoves are cleaner than tra­di­tional wood fires.

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