Author: Hanz Moleman, Australia
We’ve reached peak cold of 2016, and the warm summer months are but a fond memory. During summer we dreamed of the cool, easy sleeping nights of winter, but now it’s here, the only thing in mind is restoring warmth to frozen fingers and toes. The days of rising at 5 am in June to deliver papers on our trusty BMX are long gone. I don’t remember my hands and feet being this ridiculously cold back in the 1990’s. Perhaps that’s due to being chased relentlessly by the local hounds while pitching rolled up Herald Suns across the frozen lawns of Kilsyth six days a week.
Who would think that something as boring as cost comparisons between home heating appliances would take up most of my Saturday? Why would anybody waste a day studying this? The teenage me would be shocked. The thirties meis shocked. But here I am. If your energy bills are as stupidly high as mine, it should be a day well spent. I don’t wish to spend my forties working for the power companies profit alone.
What I have found is surprising to say the least. Heating one’s home or living spaces is far more complex than electricity or gas costs alone. So I’ve decided to condense all the information onto some graphs and approximately 1200 words to save the rest of you some Saturday time to yourselves. You could try googling, researching, calculating as I have done, or you could simply look at these pretty colours and graphs, make a decision and spend the rest of your weekend doing something fun. I know which I would choose.
Household Power Consumption breakdown
The chart shows the four areas of your homes electricity consumption. Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature consumes nearly seven times the power that lighting does. Reducing power consumption must start here.
Appliance heating costs per hour to bring inside ambient temperature to
21 C from an outside temperature of 10 C
*Costs averaged over a standard 4 bedroom single story home with 2 main living areas plus master bedroom heated to 21C using heating types described. Tests conducted in South Australia May 2014
What’s the most energy efficient way to warm you home?
A wood fireplace maybe? It seems that all the energy that goes into producing, felling, distributing, and then chopping again, makes wood only the third best option. Even if you live on a farm and chop your own wood, when time and costs are accounted for, it’s still not as efficient as Geo thermal or electric powered reverse cycle air conditioning. So unless you live in a volcano or on one of New Zealand’s thermal underground steam pump up things, your best bet is a Reverse Cycle air conditioner. Technically called a heat pump, these machines can cool, heat, reduce humidity, plus clean and filter the air throughout a home. They are what this author would suggest, one of the only must – have appliances for any modern house. Only a refrigerator and a coffee machine could possibly be more important.
Forget those portable space heaters, so often left on to dry clothes. It used to be that gas heating whether ducted or wall heaters were the most efficient in all the country. But once they discovered that selling gas to Chinese manufacturing companies could triple the profit on natural gas and LPG, guess who decided that Australian families should be paying international ‘market rates’ for gas instead of just a fraction over what it cost to produce? Yep. Our Traitor politicians in Canberra thought – correctly - that they could slide this one past us without an armed rebellion.
Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning