Winter Heating Energy Costs

April 27, 2011 3:40 am Published by
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With winter on its way and a rise in heaters getting serviced, ready for the cold months ahead. There has been a few queries to do with energy efficiency of heating appliances and how to try and manage lower energy bills. A customer in Balwyn North was asking how to work out the efficiency of their ducted heater.
The largest chunk of household energy bills goes towards keeping homes cool in summer and warm in winter. In very cold areas, heating alone could account for about 70 percent of your energy bill.

Costing a gas appliance – The consumption of gas appliances is measured in megajoules {MJ}. Multiply the consumption of the appliance by the cost of gas in your area to find out how much it’s costing you to run. For example, if your heater uses 20 MJ an hour and you pay 1 cent per megajoule of gas, it’s costing you 20 cents an hour to run.
Gas appliances are more energy-efficient than their electrical counterparts, they’re cheaper to run. They also produce fewer carbon emissions. In fact, if you switch from electricity to gas for your hotwater system and cooktop, you could reduce household greenhouse gas emissions by about 25 percent. Add in gas heating system, and you would further reduce both your energy bills and carbon emissions.
Turn the thermostat down – Many heaters have thermostats, so you could set the temperature as high as 30C or more commonly 23C or 24C. If you’re using a thermostatically controlled heater, consider that every time you increase the setting on the thermostat by just one degree, you’re adding 10 to 15 percent to your running costs – perhaps more. If you want to stay warm and save money at the same time, aim for a temperature somewhere between 19C and 21C.

In Melbourne and places that have cold winters, central heating is a good option, and it’s often a standard feature of homes in this type of climate. A central heating system delivers heat to the whole house from a single heat source. Minimise running costs by being selective about spaces to heat, when to heat them and how warm they need to be. Because hot air rises, heated air delivered to a room at ceiling level will stay there, leaving the bottom half cold. Some ceiling vents are designed to direct heat to the body of a room, so if you choose to install them, make sure you’re getting the most effective vents possible. The heart of the ducted gas heating system is the central gas furnace. It heats up air that then travels through ducts to various rooms around the house. Ducting usually runs under the floor or through the roof space, with vents located either in the floor or the ceiling. This kind of heating works best when the rooms of the house are grouped into zones. Each zone should have its own thermostat so the temperatures can be set independently. That way you don’t waste energy heating unoccupied rooms. or overheating rooms that only require a low level of heating.
It is important to have your heater system serviced on a regular basis so it is running efficiently and safe.

Due to the potential danger of incorrectly installed gas fittings, the installation of pipework and the provision for it falls under very strict regulations and should only be performed by a licensed gas fitter.
It is illegal to work on your own gas installation pipework or appliances.

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