Your Guide To Energy Efficient Heating

As the weather cools down and you start reaching for that heating remote, it’s a good time to start thinking about the energy-efficiency of your heater. Having an energy-efficient heater is important to maintaining comfortable temperatures inside and reducing household energy bills, not to mention reducing your carbon footprint. 

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about energy-efficiency, including what type of heater is cheapest to run, split system and ducted heaters, what size heater you need for your room and how you can make your heater even more energy efficient. 

Which type of heater is cheapest to run?

Reverse-cycle air conditioners, such as split systems and ducted systems, are the cheapest to run and the most energy-efficient heating option. They provide low-cost heating in winter and cooling in summer.

5 and 6-star reverse-cycle air conditioning units produce just one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to standard electric heaters. 

Depending on what type and size you need, hourly running costs for reverse-cycle air conditioners can be between $0.29 – $0.78

What is a split system heater?

Split systems are the cheapest reverse-cycle systems to run and install. For this reason, they are one of the most popular heating systems in Australia and are perfect for heating single rooms. They have an indoor and outdoor unit, connected by pipes containing refrigerant gases. 

You can also get multi split systems, which connect one outdoor unit to multiple indoor units, meaning you can heat multiple or larger rooms.  

What is ducted heating?

Ducted heating systems have an outdoor compressor and ducted outlets in the rooms you want to heat. Ducted heaters can heat the whole house or particular ‘zones’, allowing you to alter fan speeds and temperature throughout the building.  

Which one is better?

Split systems are cheaper to install than ducted systems however they may not last as long and will only heat one room. With the central unit containing the refrigerant gasses and parts housed outside, both split systems and ducted heaters run fairly quietly.   

There are pros and cons to both split systems and ducted heaters, so your decision on which is better really depends on your individual preferences and budget. To find out more, check out our post comparing split systems and ducted heating.

What size heater do I need?

Getting the right size heater is essential for optimum energy-efficiency. Having the right size heater will also ensure your home is heated comfortably and you’re not wasting money on a buying and running larger system. 

The most important things to consider when choosing your heater’s capacity include the climate you live in, the size of the room, the height of the ceiling and the level of insulation. Other factors such as how much natural sunlight the room receives, the type of flooring, and whether adjacent rooms or above/below floors are heated can also impact the size of the heater you will need. 

Here’s a general guide:

Room size Heater capacity
Small Room (5-20sqm) 1kW – 1.5kW
Medium Room (20-30sqm) 2kW – 2.5kW
Large Room (30 – 40sqm) 2.5kW or more


Our air conditioning specialists can determine the right heating capacity for your room. You can even upload your house plans online and we’ll come back to you with a free quote!

How can I make my heater even more energy efficient?

There are a few things you can do around the house to increase the energy-efficiency of your heating system and increase your comfort. 

Set the temperature to around 20 degrees. Each degree higher than that will increase energy consumption by about 10%.

Hot air rises, so if you have a ceiling fan with a reverse-direction option, set it at low speed to help circulate the heated air more evenly throughout the room.

Seal draughts and close doors to the rooms you’re not using. 

Position the heater away from doors. Although it might be tempting to put the lounge right underneath the heater, the furniture should be placed in a way that allows the heated air to flow throughout your home. 

Cover hardwood floors with rugs and use curtains. Up to 40% of heating energy can be lost through windows, so pull the drapes closed to keep the warmth in.  

If you’re one of those people who needs heating as soon as they get out of bed, or right up until you go to bed, try using the timer function. Avoid cranking your heater to full blast in the mornings by setting your timer for 15mins before you wake up. At night time, set the timer to switch off about an hour before bed.

This one might sound obvious, but only use the heater when you really need to and only heat the rooms you’re actually using. 


Beat the winter chills and reduce your electricity bills with energy-efficient heating from NewAge Air Conditioning and Heating. We’re your local heating specialists, designing, supplying, installing and servicing heating systems for homes in the Hunter for over 30 years. Contact us for more advice and information about the latest energy-efficient heaters.

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