Heating your home in winter doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. All heaters cost money to operate, sure … but some are cheaper than others, and some are especially effective in certain types of spaces.
But how do you find the “right heater” for your unique space? With such a range of options available, choosing the most cost effective and efficient heater can be difficult and time consuming.
Fortunately, you don’t have to make the decision yourself … Whether you have gas or electricity, we’ll help you find the heating option that will make you feel comfortable in the winter without costs.
First, measure your room
Measure the room you want to heat. Size matters for heating. Many of us heat our rooms or choose the wrong size radiator for our living spaces, resulting in higher energy bills and an unwelcome cold environment.
Your first step in choosing the most efficient radiator is therefore to measure the area (in square meters) that you wish to heat. Just multiply the length of the room by its width to measure square meters.
Then calculate the power required for the radiator
Calculate the area of the room you want to heat. Here are some formulas to help you calculate the horsepower your new radiator needs. (Note that if you have high ceilings, large windows, or no insulation, you should aim for a slightly more rugged model, as that means less heat is retained.)
Once you have the area of your room in square meters, multiply it by 100. This will give you the approximate radiator wattage you would need to heat the room – 100 watts per square meter (a bit more if you live in a cold area of Australia, and a little less if you live in a hot area).
For example, a room 3 m wide and 5 m long has an area of 15 m².
Once you have the area of your room in square meters, multiply it by 75. This will give you the approximate radiator wattage you would need to heat the room – 75 watts per square meter (a bit more if you live in a cold area of Australia, and a little less if you live in a hot area).
For example, a room 3 meters wide and 5 meters long has an area of 15 square meters, so a gas heater with a power of 1125 watts (about 1.1 kW) will be needed.
Then choose the best heater in that wattage range
Here are our recommendations for a range of different part sizes.
Small to medium rooms (10-25 square meters)
Heating a medium-sized room
For a small room, you should look for fast and constant heat, not maximum power. If you make the mistake of buying a heater that is too powerful, you are going to overheat and end up with a big, uncomfortable energy bill.
The column heaters below are affordable and great for retaining heat. While they don’t heat up as quickly as less efficient electric fan heaters, they’re great for keeping a room warm for hours.
The radiant gas heaters and convectors below are a great option for direct heating. They are very easy to use, have child locks for added security, and quickly release heat into a smaller area.
Note that this last option is the most solid and the most suitable for large rooms, especially those with high ceilings and without insulating materials.
Important: Note that non-combustible gas heaters will discharge their lower level emissions into the room, so ventilation is essential. They can also cause irritation if you have asthma or have sensitive skin.
Larger rooms (25-40 m2)
Heat a larger room
It is better to heat larger living rooms, especially those with high ceilings or original fittings, with more powerful gas radiators and more powerful heating panels. Instead of heating an area directly, they heat the air and circulate it evenly throughout the room.
If you can insulate your room by closing the doors and covering the windows, the panel heaters below are a good option as they heat and circulate the air smoothly. As the warm air increases over time, the panel heaters push a constant and precise heat into the cooler areas. Otherwise, you should consider using a reverse cycle air conditioner for best results in large rooms.
The gas heaters below are excellent for large rooms because they are efficient and efficient, converting around 90% of the energy content of the gas into heat and providing powerful and instant heat. Although they are more expensive to buy than electric heaters, gas heaters are much cheaper to use. Note that this last option is the most solid and the most suitable for large rooms, especially those with high ceilings and without insulating materials.
Open spaces or an entire house
Heat the whole house
Whole-house heating options or large open-plan living spaces cost more, but you will reap the long-term financial benefits as they typically offer a much wider range of heating while maintaining energy efficiency. .
The reverse circulation air conditioners below are among the most cost effective and energy efficient heating options in the long run. They distribute the air widely and evenly in small and large living spaces and are suitable for cooling during the warmer months. For a more accurate calculation of which size is right for you, refer to the Air Conditioner Size Guide.
Whole home gas systems, such as oil and gas, are energy efficient and are slowly gaining popularity, but come with significant installation costs. (Sorry, we don’t sell these products).
heat your bathroom
The safest and most efficient option for bathrooms is a panel heater. Besides their compact design, many panels are considered to be drip resistant and suitable for use in the bathroom.
Our recommendations below have been carefully selected for use in the bathroom, providing gentle room heat.
Also think about …
Other considerations for home heating
With rising electricity prices, room size and energy efficiency are important factors to consider, but they’re not the only ones. Here are some other considerations …
If you like to wake up in a warm room in the morning and come back to a warm house in the evening, consider a heater with a timer. This way you only use the heat when you really need it, rather than leaving the heater on overnight or while you are away which is expensive and ultimately unnecessary. Many gas and column heaters include programmable timers, allowing you to simply set and forget.
Radiators with a built-in thermostat are also a great option, as they maintain a precise temperature over time. While it’s tempting to turn up the thermostat on cold nights, try to resist the urge, as each degree higher can dramatically affect your energy bill. If you keep it between 18 ° C to 21 ° C, you will be comfortable without spending too much on energy bills.
If you are looking for something that you can use to heat more than one room, consider a portable and lightweight model or one with casters. Many electric and vertical heating panels are fitted with wheels. Non-polluting gas heaters can also be used from room to room.
Warning: It is illegal to use a fuelless gas heater in a poorly ventilated room or room.
Alternatively, you can consider a reverse cycle air conditioner. As stated above, they are great for open and unconventional layouts, as they heat a large area at a very low cost. Many models are also versatile enough for heating and cooling, so they can be used all year round.
Here are some useful safety tips for heating your home:
If you have a small family or pets and are worried about burns, avoid radiant heaters with exposed elements. Column heaters and electric heaters are generally a safer bet, as they are only hot to the touch, so they won’t burn out.
Never use a freestanding heater in the bathroom as it is not designed for use in humid environments. You can also consider a heating panel; Many are drop resistant and some can also be hung on the wall to sit on the wall and out of reach.
Many modern electric and gas column heaters feature an auto-cut-and-tilt design, which turns the unit off in the event of overheating or tipping.
If you are interested in a radiant gas heater or gas heater, consider one of the oxygen depletion meters. If the oxygen levels in your room start to drop, the meter will issue an alert and eventually shut down the device completely for your safety.
It is illegal to use unfilled heaters in small or poorly ventilated rooms because of their emissions.
If you live in Victoria, be sure to note the Victorian laws governing the installation and use of gas heaters.
Fan heaters, although more expensive to run for long periods of time, heat up quickly. The Delonghi fan heater is a good example. It emits fast and powerful heat, making it ideal for short-term personal use and for heating small rooms.
Gas and convection heaters are ranked among the most environmentally friendly options, resulting in lower and much less greenhouse gas levels than electric heaters. Its emissions level must be certified according to specific Australian standards.
Create a more efficient space
Create an energy efficient space
Now that you’ve figured out the perfect heater for your space, let’s take a look at some easy ways to increase your home’s efficiency and make sure it heats comfortably and efficiently:
Cover your windows and doors at night. According to the Victorian Government’s Sustainability Department, “a single pane can lose about 10 times more heat than the same area of an insulated wall.”
Insulate your home to prevent heat loss
Close the doors between rooms to conserve heat. Opening the doors will drastically reduce heating efficiency, meaning you pay more for less effect.
Wear warm clothes! It might sound obvious, but the layering means you’ll save more heat.
Consider investing in complementary items like the inner comforter for your bedroom, removable pads to prevent cold air from escaping, or warm throws if you want to.
ou want direct, short-term personal warming.
Install the insulation on the ceiling. Your home will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It’s a long-term, year-round solution.
If you are building, renovating or upgrading a home, consider installing a heating system for the whole house, such as reverse circulation air conditioning, a fuelless gas heater, fireplace, or hydroelectric gas heater. . Don’t worry about a higher upfront cost – you’ll enjoy the consistent, long-term benefits of higher energy efficiency and wider heat distribution.
As you can see, spending time choosing the right heater is not just a lot of hot air. We’ve outlined the most important factors to consider to ensure you make the right decision when it comes to heating your home effectively and efficiently. If you have more questions and comments on the best heater for you, please leave them below!