Experts reveal the most cost-effective ways to heat your home this winter


Experts reveal the cheapest way to heat your home this winter – and it depends on whether you own the property or are renting it

  • The experts from CHOICE have listed the most cost-efficient heating options 
  • Reverse-cycle air conditioning is the best option for home owners 
  • While renters should opt for portable electric heaters for cheaper solutions  

The experts from Australian consumer company CHOICE have listed the cheapest ways to stay warm this winter. 

Reverse-cycle air conditioning is the most cost-efficient ways to heat your home quickly, while portable electric heaters can be more expensive to run and take more time to heat up. 

But the hefty installation cost of air conditioning might not be a suitable option for renters. 

Reverse-cycle air conditioning is one of the most cost-efficient ways to heat your home quickly, while portable electric heaters can be more expensive to run and take more time to heat up (stock image)

Reverse-cycle air conditioning is one of the most cost-efficient ways to heat your home quickly, while portable electric heaters can be more expensive to run and take more time to heat up (stock image) 

Air conditioning

According to the experts, reverse-cycle air conditioning is the most energy-efficient option but it’s expensive to install.

Purchase and installation costs can range between $2000 to $15,000, which is only suitable for home owners, not renters.

If renters are lucky enough to live in a home equipped with air conditioning it’s a suitable option to use throughout the year.

A CHOICE expert said: ‘Reverse-cycle air conditioning will cost only a little more to run for the entire year than an electric heater will cost to run just for three months over winter.’

Gas heating

The second-best option to keep you warm this winter is gas heating, with low running costs.

But in order to use gas heating, you need to have gas already connected or set up an LPG system for your heater.

‘They can’t be installed in bedrooms and confined spaces like bathrooms, and some require a flue to vent outside your house,’ experts said.

‘And they aren’t cheap to buy, either: you’re looking at anywhere from $500 up to $1400.’

While air conditioning can be inexpensive to run, the installation costs can be hefty (stock image)

While air conditioning can be inexpensive to run, the installation costs can be hefty (stock image)

Electric heating

Perhaps the most convenient option for renters is to purchase a portable electric heater, though this is considered to be the most expensive option.

While the upfront costs are usually minimal, with prices starting from just $30 at varying retailers, the ongoing expense is higher per hour compared to gas heating or air conditioning.

‘Portable electric heaters are ideal for small spaces for short periods of use. They’re also a great option for renters or owners of strata apartments who may not be able to install air conditioning,’ the experts wrote.

‘Of all the different types of electric heaters, oil column heaters are the cheapest to run – but only by a very slim margin. They also take longer to warm up.’

SIMPLE WAYS TO SAVE MONEY

Automate your savings

Plan meals in advance and only shop for the ingredients in those meals 

Buy home or own brands where you can 

Cook meals in bulk 

Shop around for insurance

Know where your money is going

Start a budget

Pay off debt 

Source: moneysmart.gov.au

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