Heating your home right

Green Lifestyle magazine

Making the right heater choice can decrease your carbon footprint and your bills.


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With winter well on its way, now’s the time to sort out a warm home. Making the right choice can decrease both your carbon footprint and your household bills.

- SLOW-COMBUSTION STOVES are a more efficient option than the traditional open fireplace for those who love the flickering, romantic light and cosy appeal of burning wood. The open fireplace is one of the most inefficient ways of heating the home.

- ELECTRIC HEATERS are a common alternative. Generally speaking, there are three kinds, and they are only suited to heating small areas. The options are:
OIL-FILLED COLUMN HEATERS which rely on natural convection to heat the oil sealed inside their columns. They take a long time to heat a room, but maintain a balanced temperature. Due to this, they are best used in rooms that you will be spending a good amount of time in (ie, all day or overnight).
RADIANT HEATERS use a red-hot element to provide almost instant heat in the space around them, but are inefficient at heating up a room.
FAN HEATERS also provide instantaneous heat, and can be cheap to buy, but they are inefficient and expensive to run, especially when used in larger rooms.

- GAS HEATERS are among the most efficient and inexpensive options for heating a household, and they produce one-third the amount of greenhouse gases that standard electrical heaters produce. Some health and condensation issues can surround portable unflued gas heaters as they vent their harmful combustion gases into the room. Flued gas heaters (which are a little more expensive) solve this problem by venting these gases outside, and are often the best when heating large areas such as living rooms or bedrooms.