Taming the temperature

TOASTY WARM: Traditional wood fires are beginning to make a comeback given their cost-effectiveness and overall heating abilities. Photos: Shutterstock.
TOASTY WARM: Traditional wood fires are beginning to make a comeback given their cost-effectiveness and overall heating abilities. Photos: Shutterstock.

WINTER is just around the corner and with the colder weather starting to settle in, now is the time to prepare your home for the winter months. In 2020 there was an overall rise in the cost of heating homes, with COVID lockdowns and people working from home leading to an increase in overall heating requirements.

Kerrianne Mahwood from Mawhood's Mitre 10, said while many people purchased smaller heaters to help fill the void, more efficient long-term solutions were needed. "A lot of people needed smaller blow heaters and electric heaters to heat office spaces or rooms they normally wouldn't use, but they can be quite expensive to run," she said. "They are great to use for the short term or a quick burst of warmth, but if you want to heat your home efficiently then there are better solutions."

From gas to electric to wood, there are a range of ways to keep your home and your family warm, however the best option will be different for each home.

"Wood heaters are making a comeback as they can keep your home consistently warm across longer periods, especially given you can put them onto a slow burn overnight to keep your house warm during cold mornings," Kerrianne said. "However if you have to pay for firewood they can become a bit of a hassle, which is why people then look at gas or electric."

EFFICIENCY: No matter what type of heating you have, it could be wasted unless you have proper insulation.

EFFICIENCY: No matter what type of heating you have, it could be wasted unless you have proper insulation.

Electric heating, normally one of the most expensive types, has seen a surge in popularity that is linked to the increase in homes with solar panels. Whether it is a stylish electric fireplace, ducted heating or simply a reverse cycle air-conditioner, solar power allows people to utilise electric heating without the usual associated high costs.

Gas fires are always a popular option given the large range of different heating options available and the relatively low cost to run. Kerrianne said that gas fires were great because they provided amazing warmth at the flick of a switch, with the look and feel of a cosy wood fire. "Gas heating can be very cost effective compared to other options and it's also great for outdoor entertaining areas and sheds, especially with area heaters or portable mushroom heaters."

No matter what type of heating you have, proper insulation is vital when it comes to keeping your home warm during winter, with the added benefit of staying cool in summer. Insulation is the most energy efficient addition you can make to your home and can help you save up to 45 per cent on your current energy bills. Kerrianne said doing simple things like using door draught stoppers, adding rugs to floors, or installing double glazed windows can also help keep your home warm.

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