Heating ideas and advice

Wood heaters and fireplaces

Wood heaters give out a fantastic, cosy, radiant heat, but they require a steady supply of fuel and the occasional clean to keep them going.

Gas heaters

Gas heaters are reasonably efficient, cheap and environmentally friendly, and require little maintenance to keep them up and running.

Heat pump or reverse cycle air conditioner

Reverse cycle airconditioners are effectively heat pump heaters. They are a cheap and efficient heating option, and provide both heating and cooling.

Electric panel heaters

Wall-mounted electric panel heaters are reasonably cheap to run, and are fairly safe to use due to the convective heat they give off.

Hydronic heating

Hydronic heating uses heated water pumped through a network of pipes to radiators. It also works as under-floor heating.

Oil-filled column heater

Oil-filled column heaters provide radiant heat, and are generally favoured over other portable electric heaters for reasons of efficiency and safety.

Solar air convection heaters

Solar air convection heaters are rare, but have no operating costs at all. Because solar heaters rely on sunlight, they don't always provide heat when it's needed.

Off-peak storage heaters

Off peak storage heaters, also called heat banks, heat up during the hours when off-peak electricity rates apply. These heaters are best suited to constantly cold climates.

Radiant bar heater

Radiant bar heaters (or strip heaters) produce a lot of heat very quickly, and are ideal for areas like bathrooms, where heat is required for short amounts of time.

Electric fan heaters

Convection fan heaters provide instant heat and are very portable. They are also fairly inefficient, and are best suited for short-term use in small rooms.

Types of central heating

Central heating systems are often the most economical way to heat various different parts of your house at once, especially in areas that require heating for most of the year.

Heat shifters

Heat shifters work to pump warm air collecting in one part of the house to another area of the house, which in turn helps to reduce the need for additional heating.

Ducted heating

Ducted heating allows warm air to be channelled through floor or ceiling vents to different parts of a house. Controlling these vents allows you to control where heat is distributed.

Where to position heaters

Different heaters emit heat in different ways, and heat always rises. Knowing where to put your heater can vastly improve your heating setup and overall comfort.

Availability of fuel

The availability and price of fuel make a big difference to what type of heaters you should install in your home. This is especially the case for natural gas, wood and coal heaters.

Climate and demand

How often you will need a heater and how long you need it on for make a big difference. Heaters of different types vary considerably in their performance over different durations.

Running costs of heaters

In most (but not all) cases, the less you spend on a heater, the more it will cost to run in the long term. Find out more about the initial and ongoing costs of different heater types.

Energy efficient heating

Energy efficient heating

Different heaters produce different levels and types of heat, but they also consume different types of fuels. A good heating setup can cost very little to run, and will have little or no carbon footprint.

Heat loss through windows

Tremendous amounts of heat are lost through windows. Find out how the right windows, thermal curtains and pelmets can make your heating more efficient.

Heating regulations

Heating and its associated industries are heavily regulated, mostly because of the obvious fire hazards they pose - but also to control air pollution, and similar issues.