As we write this article, it’s a 37-degree mid-March day in Melbourne.
However, with rising energy costs and concerns about the environment increasing on a daily basis, it’s never been more important to plan ahead and consider your options for safely and intelligently heating your home come winter time – which is, to be frank, just a few months away.
By planning ahead and sorting your new heating system with a reputable HVAC retailer like G Store, you can be certain to reap the full range of rewards such as:
- The best deals
- The best-fit solution for your needs (that is, no rushed decisions!)
- A system that saves you the most money in the long run
In this article, we’ll take a look at the of the most popular heating options, understanding the pros, cons and must-know information surrounding each, including:
- Gas heating
- Reverse cycle air-conditioning
- Hydronic heating
Ready? Let’s save you some precious time, energy and money with the very best heating options on the market.
All About Gas Heating
If you have access to gas in your home, it’s likely you have – or have, at some point in the past, had – gas heating.
Gas and electric heating are some of the most popular heating options in Victorian homes, alongside portable electric and fan heaters.
However, while gas heaters can be significantly cheaper to install with one of the lowest upfront investment levels, it’s important to remember that they’re far less energy-efficient than their other HVAC counterparts, and also far less kind to the environment (as well as your carbon footprint).
If you really want to go down the gas path, it’s also important to ensure that your gas heater is properly maintained so it’s running as efficiently – and as safely – as possible.
According to the Australian Gas Association, gas heaters should be serviced by a licensed gas fitter at least once every two years to ensure they are operating safely and efficiently.
Regular servicing of gas heaters can not only help to identify and address any potential issues before they become major problems; it can also help to prolong the life of your heater and ensure that it is operating at its maximum efficiency, reducing your bills in the process.
Additionally, regular servicing can help to ensure that your gas heater is not producing harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide, which can be a major health hazard in homes – and, in extreme cases, even cause death.
If, at this point, you’re feeling like exploring some alternative options, you wouldn’t be alone – and we can certainly help you with that!
All About Reverse Cycle Air-conditioning
The energy efficiency of reverse cycle air conditioning and gas heaters can vary depending on the specific model and usage patterns, so it’s difficult to make a general comparison of the two.
However, in general, reverse cycle air conditioning is considered to be a significantly more energy-efficient heating option than gas heaters – if you choose the right model for your specific needs.
According to the Australian government energy rating website, reverse cycle air conditioners can achieve up to 7 stars in energy efficiency, which means they can be up to 30% more efficient than other traditional heaters.
In terms of running costs, reverse cycle air conditioning can be more expensive to install than gas heaters, but they are also, generally, more cost-effective to run over the long term, especially if they are used for both heating and cooling throughout the year.
On that – reverse cycle air-conditioners have the added, additional benefit of providing cooling during the summer months, which can help you to further reduce your energy costs – both from month to month, and throughout the year.
However – if you’re looking for an option that’s likely to add real value to your home and set you up for a substantial long-term investment in property value, hydronic heating may be the way to go.
All About Hydronic Heating
Hydronic heating is widely understood to be the cleanest, most energy-efficient option for heating in your home.
This kind of heating system works by circulating hot water through pipes that are installed in your floors or walls. The hot water radiates heat into the surrounding areas, creating a warm and comfortable indoor environment. The system is typically heated using a gas boiler, although it can also be heated using an electric boiler or a heat pump.
In a hydronic heating system, water is heated in the boiler and then circulated through the pipes using a pump. The hot water then radiates heat into the surrounding areas, warming the floors, walls, and furniture. The heat is then gradually released into the air, creating a comfortable and even temperature throughout the space.
While gas boilers have been the most common, traditional heating source for legacy hydronic heating systems, it is now – with the advent of contemporary technology – to use a heat pump as well.
In fact, heat pumps can be a highly efficient way to heat your home using a hydronic system – particularly if paired with solar and solar battery systems (so you can actually start generating, exporting and selling the excess power you generate – free hot water, anyone?!).
Heat pumps are incredible feats of contemporary technology that work by extracting heat from the air or ground outside your home and transferring it inside. They can be up to 300% more efficient than traditional electric heating systems, which means they’re often the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to heat your home.
What’s more, heat pumps can be used for a variety of other applications within your home environment, including:
- Both heating and cooling
- Heating your swimming pool
- Hydronic heating/cooling
- Other HVAC applications
If you’re looking at using a heat pump with a hydronic heating system, you’ll need to install a hydronic air handler, a type of heat exchanger that can transfer the heat from the heat pump to the hydronic system. The air handler is connected to the heat pump and the hydronic system using a series of pipes, and it can distribute the heat throughout your home using ducts or air handlers.
Keen to learn more about heat pumps, hot water and their various applications in the home? Find out more via this article at our Learning Centre: “Heat Pumps: Your Answer to Rising Gas Prices”.
If you’re feeling ready to explore the heating options you have available to you as the Australian climate continues to cool this year, look no further than an obligation-free consultation with your specialist G Store team.
As the preferred retailer and installer of Australia’s very best solar, HVAC and hot water brands, we’ve got your best interests at heart. Read more in our Learning Centre, or contact our friendly team today on 1300 766 940.