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Heating System Tips and hints

Minimise the area to be heated. Doubling the size of the heated area also doubles running costs. Close doors to unheated areas, or hang curtains across open archways leading to other rooms.

Use a correctly sized heater. Small heaters don’t heat large areas and make running costs unnecessarily high without providing adequate heat. Large heaters are expensive and uneconomical when only a small area needs heating. If only one small area of a centrally heated home is to be used, it’s cheaper to use a portable heater or small space heater for a short time rather than heating the whole house or rooms that are not being used.

Close windows, doors, drapes and blinds when you’re heating, especially at night. Leaving them open costs around $80 per quarter for the average home.

Open up curtains to north-facing windows on sunny winter days to let free, natural solar energy warm your home.

Use the thermostat correctly. For every degree you increase the thermostat setting, your bill can increase by up to 15%. Set your thermostat at around a temperature of 18–20°C for living areas.

Thermostats of central heating systems should be placed in living areas, where you spend most of your time. Ensure they are protected from draughts and heat sources such as heating outlets or direct sunlight. Thermostats should not be located on external walls.

Run the heater fan on its highest setting for best efficiency and heat distribution. Fans cost only around one cent an hour to run.

Don’t leave your heater running on low overnight or while you’re out during the day. It’s cheaper to turn the heater off while you are out or sleeping, and turn it on again when you return or wake up in the morning. These guidelines don’t apply to storage type heating such as in-slab systems which have a very slow response time.

Install a timer or programmable thermostat to turn your heater on and off automatically around 20 to 30 minutes before getting up in the morning or getting home in the evening.

Ceiling fans, heat shifters or personal fans set about 2.1 m above the floor are useful ways to return heat that has risen to a second storey, or collected at the top of ceilings, down to floor level again. This can save over 10% of heating costs.

Maintain your heater. Keep reflectors shiny and free of dust, and clean air filters regularly.
Service all heaters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Turn off the pilot light over summer. This can save around $15 or more each year.

Turn your heating off completely if you are going away for an extended period of time.

The following heating accessories can be used to increase the performance and efficiency of your heating system, while reducing running costs.

Heat shifters are simple ducted systems using a fan to move warm air. Useful for moving heated air that has collected in an upstairs area down to the ground floor, or for taking residual heat from a living area to bedrooms when retiring at night.

Ceiling fans are useful to bring down to floor level the hot air that builds up at ceiling level.

Programmable timers are devices which automatically turn heaters on and off at pre-selected times. They are useful to pre-heat rooms in the morning or evening, to avoid running the heater continuously.

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