With the cost of electricity rising by as much as 10% in some areas, people are looking for economical ways to heat their home for less.
Unfortunately many of the solutions may involve a larger upfront cost, but with prudent planning, it will save money and in the long run.
One company, Global Eco & Environmental Solutions (GES), introduced solar heating to the Australian market in 2006 with the SolarVenti product range. With some important design modifications to suit the Australian climate, GES released its own Solar Air Module (SAM) heating system in January 2011. The average cost to buy a DIY kit for a three bedroom home could be around $2,600 and additional $1,000 for installation.
“The SAM system is very versatile,” says GES Director Arne Hachmann. “It can be targeted to areas in the house that needs it most, help drying your clothes and can even preheat air through to your existing ducted heating system, thus reducing your overall heating costs.”
If your heating system has timer switches and a thermostat, set them to heat the room to between 18°C and 20°C only when you are at home.
Keep the air filter clear on any heaters to minimise the energy used. This can also reduce colds and flus in the colder months. Shut the doors to the rooms you are not using and switch all heating off in those rooms.
Open your curtains during the day to let in the winter sun, and close them at night to contain the heat. There are many other ideas you can implement to reduce the need for mechanical heating, that don’t require a huge initial outlay such as using rugs for a few hundred dollars and draught sealers for doors and windows (only a few dollars per roll), but the reality is for the more cost efficient solutions you will need to spend some extra money.
Ensuring your ceiling, roof, walls and floor are properly insulated is effective not only for heating in winter, but also for keeping you home cool in summer.
And finally, there’s nothing wrong with doing it the old fashioned way and considering installing a slow combustion wood burning fireplace for cheap heating and a wonderful romantic winter ambiance.