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By Katie Mitchell, 30 Jul 2018

If your heater is about as useful at warming your home as a hatstand – you’re not alone. As we wave goodbye to the long hot evenings of daylight savings and welcome winter, we’re all turning to our heaters to keep us toasty; typically from June to September. Imagine if every house was energy-efficient and optimum-designed to stay warm in winter and cool in summer with minimum energy output. Unfortunately, this utopia is far from reality with the majority of Australian homes not designed to withstand the cold weather. Most of us pay a premium price in electricity costs to stay cosy during the chilly season.

The right heat

If you’ve ever gone heater-shopping, you’ll appreciate how baffling buying a heater can be. Spoilt for choice, the saturation of information can make it impossible to know if you’re making the right purchase.

Fan heaters are the heroes for smaller spaces; the home office or little rooms of 15sqm or less. As a rule, fan heaters are more affordable to buy, but the costs kick in when you run them.

Convection panel heaters are the heat sources you usually find mounted on walls. Great for your hallway or bedroom, these quiet appliances offer excellent temperature control if you select one with a digital thermostat feature. Most of them have a fan which amplifies the convection impact by driving warm air from the heater; heating faster and more evenly.

When you’re snug and sleepy, the last thing you want to do is get out from under the cosy covers to turn your heater off. Leaving them on all night can run up your energy bills, so make it simple for yourself with a user-friendly timer. When using a heater, especially a fan heater, never cover the heater while in use, especially with a timer.

For warming yourself in close quarters, radiant heaters are the way to go. If your office space is open-plan, it can be difficult to heat as a whole. Choosing one of these heaters will keep you warm but do next to nothing for lifting the ambient temperature of the room as a whole. As per their name, these appliances radiate heat from a hot heating element.

Top Tip

Ceiling fans are fabulous at helping to warm spaces during winter. When the season shifts and the cold sets in, switch the setting so that the blades slowly rotate, counter-clockwise, to pull air up. These warming wonders will push the rising warm air back down to keep your house inhabitants warmer.

The right light

Going back two centuries, most people worked outdoors and relied on the natural rise and set of the sun to direct their day. Nowadays, most of us don’t start at dawn and tools down at sunset; when winter sets in, we go to work and come home in the dark. As well as being chilly, this can also throw your natural rhythms off-course.

During the darker months, it’s not just heating that has a warming effect, it also comes down to how our heating works with our lighting choices. Getting this balance right can help keep you cosy and cheery in the colder weather, so we’ve got some tips for warming your lighting.

In winter, the aim is to get the brightest light at home; this means installing light sources that emit a cooler light of 3,700 – 4,000 degrees kelvins plus.


During winter, task lighting is an excellent ally in the spaces you can work or read without light during summer; at your kitchen table, your lounge or your office desk. Moveable, adaptable lights such as a floor or a desk lamp are a practical option when you need to shed more light.

Bedroom light

To secure optimum slumber, create a calm, quiet space where you can relax and let go of the day. While you might need a brighter ceiling light for those cold, dark mornings, you could also consider adding a floor lamp. These softer lights can work with your bedside lamps to generate a peaceful and serene setting.

Bathroom light

To minimise the bathroom freeze, make sure you treat yourself to the toasty luxury of heat lamps. To ward off the winter chill, these lamps come as a single source, or in a two lamp and four lamp unit, paired with exhaust fans. Save these warming wonders for winter or use them in all seasons.

Top Tip

To save a considerable amount of energy, remember to turn off the heat lamps in your bathroom heater.


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