Did you know, according to Climate Choices, heating your home can account for as much as 60% of your energy bill? So, when it comes to choosing your heating system of choice, it pays to think smart and invest wisely.
Whether you're looking for eco-friendly options or seeking the perfect balance between warmth and cost-effectiveness, electric-powered heating is a more sustainable energy choice. Here we look at reverse-cycle air conditioners and electric heaters to compare which is best for your personal winter needs.
Reverse-cycle air conditioners
A heater and air con unit all rolled into one, reverse-cycle air conditioners use a refrigeration cycle to transfer heat from one place to another. So, you’ll benefit from cooling during hot weather and heating when it’s cold. The ability to switch between cooling and heating modes makes reverse-cycle air conditioners a super versatile option for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment year-round, especially in large, open-plan spaces.
When it comes to energy-efficient heating, reverse-cycle air conditioning takes gold. According to energy.gov.au, reverse-cycle air conditioners can reach 300-600% efficiency. If that percentage has you scratching your head, it means that it can take one unit of electrical energy and convert it into three to six times as much heating or cooling energy. If the ability to switch between hot and cold wasn’t helpful enough, reverse-cycle air conditioners offer zoning capabilities, allowing you to control the temperature of specific areas or rooms independently.
Reverse-cycle air conditioners can have a higher initial purchase and installation cost compared to other heating options. They also require adequate room for installation, making them potentially unsuitable for smaller spaces. The good news is that ActewAGL’s Heating and Cooling Upgrade offer can make the upfront cost and financing far more attractive. Find out more here.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to electric element heaters, and it’s easy to find one that aligns with your needs. Despite the plethora of choices, not all electric heaters are energy efficient. Radiant bar heaters, oil heaters and fan heaters are the most energy efficient electric heater choices. Radiant heaters emit infrared radiation, which is perfect for directly heating objects or people in their path. Fan heaters operate by fanning heated air, making them well-suited for heating larger rooms. Oil-filled radiators use electricity to heat oil inside the unit, which then radiates heat evenly. They’re energy-efficient and maintain warmth for extended periods-even after being turned off!
Of all the heating solutions, electric heaters are the cheapest to buy. Lightweight and portable, you can easily wheel them around your home to the areas you want to target the most. Oil heaters provide long-lasting heat and can heat larger rooms more efficiently. Fan heaters are quick to heat up and can circulate heat easier due to oscillating. Radiant bar heaters are quiet and quickly heat up.
Despite their lower purchase price, electric heaters can be expensive to run and are less efficient than gas or reverse-cycle heating. If you’ve got a larger space, some electric heaters may struggle to distribute heat evenly, leaving certain areas colder than others. Oil heaters are slow to heat up and can be more difficult to move around, given their size. Fan heaters aren’t suitable for large spaces and stop radiating heat as soon as they are turned off. Radiant bar heaters only provide targeted heating and feature exposed heating elements which could be a hazard.
When on the hunt for an electric heater, consider the heater’s Energy Rating Label. The higher the number, the more energy-efficient the appliance and the more you’ll save. Before you start your search, note down the size of the area you need to heat, and select a heater type with an appropriate heating capacity to ensure it can effectively warm the space.
- Energy-efficient reverse-cycle air conditioners offer heating and cooling capabilities, providing year-round comfort, although they come at a higher upfront cost. Upgrade incentives are available, however.
- Electric heaters are affordable and versatile, yet they can be less energy-efficient compared to other heating options and may lead to higher electricity bills.
- Gas heaters are relatively inexpensive and reliable. However, they contribute to indoor and outdoor air pollution and may eventually become obsolete due to national and regional environmental goals.
ActewAGL's energy saving tips are designed to help you take control of your energy use, while reducing your bills and environmental impact. Save with great value energy plans backed by our sustainability promise, supported by 100% local, award-winning service - so you can LIVE A Good Life now and into the future.
For more information about how you can transition to an energy-efficient home visit the SolarHub & ActewAGL Smart Energy Hub today.
Disclaimer: These Energy Savings tips and articles are for information purposes only. Please ensure you are aware of any safety precautions before operating appliances or products.