How to avoid bill shock for winter home heating

With winter approaching, it’s time to make sure you are getting the best out of your heating.

Energy bills are on the rise, so it’s important to make sure you don’t waste a cent on your next bill, but what are some common mistakes you may be making?

Here’s our guide.

Space invaders

Only heat the area you need to heat.

Make sure you shut all doors and zone the heat if possible, to avoid paying for heat you don’t need.

This can be hard with the current trend of open-plan homes, but even closing a laundry door or spare room or closing an in-floor vent could help.

Hot in the city

Step away from the thermostat. Constantly turning up the temperature piles on the costs.

According to Sustainability Victoria, every degree higher than 20°C can increase your cost by about 15 per cent.

It can be tempting during cold snaps to crank it up to the max, but to avoid bill shock you are better off pulling on a second jumper or doing a bit of exercise.

It’s generally a good excuse to snuggle under a blanket in front of the telly in our house.

And if you are not at home, or sleeping, turn it off. Simple.

Shop around

According to CHOICE, don’t equate a high price with an efficient heater.

Their research found many heating units in the $400-$500 range got the job done despite not having the reputation and price tag of some famous brands.

Check out their findings on electric heaters here and gas heaters here.

Running costs

Before you buy, CHOICE also recommends checking out the energy rating. A cheap heater may cost you more in the long run if it is inefficient.

And also buy to purpose. A small heater will not make a dent in a large room, and you don’t want to waste a large heater on a small room.

Keep it clean

Clean air filters, grilles, ducts and outlets clean and clear. This will vastly improve the efficiency of your heating.

While in-ground ducts and outlets probably only require an enthusiastic application of your vacuum cleaner and a bit of a wipe, filters are a tad more fiddly.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the operating manual otherwise you may void your warranty.

Which brings us too …

Call the experts

If you have central heating of any sort, make sure you are getting it serviced at least every other year.

While you can do the basics of cleaning yourself, to keep your heating running efficiently you will need to get a proper service.

This is especially important for gas units, which will need to be checked for pressure by a registered gas fitter. You can check for their licence here.

And be kind to your tradie. Leaving it to the last minute or first cold snap will probably leave you waiting as every other household has also left it too late. Call them at least two months before you think you will need a service.

Reverse it

Have you forgotten you have a reverse cycle unit?

They are often vastly more efficient than electric heaters and if you have rooftop solar, using the unit during the day – especially if it’s sunny – can be almost free.

They are also good if you only want to heat a single space, also saving you cash.

Do you have any energy-saving tips for winter? Why not share your advice in the comments section below?

Also read: 12 things you should never buy if you want to save money

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -