There’s a special contentment that comes from being cocooned in a warm home during the colder months. Beyond layering your winter woollies, the best way to beat the chill is with a heater. But with so many options available, how do you choose? We’re sharing expert advice.
“Think about the size and layout of the area you want to heat and whether a radiant or convection heating method is preferable,” says Bunnings home heating buyer John Campbell. “Convection heaters circulate heated air throughout the room, which is beneficial when heating a larger area, whereas radiant heaters generate a more direct heat. As they don’t directly heat the air, radiant models often take more time than convection heaters to warm a room,” he explains.
Also consider running costs, energy efficiency and fixed versus portable, as well as style preferences.
If you love a wood fire but prefer the convenience of simply clicking a button, an electric fireplace might be for you. “Electric fireplaces utilise electricity rather than timber as the fuel source. They draw in cool air which is heated via an electric heating element, before a fan pushes out the hot air,” explains Daniel Kitchen of Arlec.
Added extras include smart controls (for scheduling via a smartphone) and heat-free flame effects. Unlike with a genuine wood fireplace, there are no health and safety issues relating to smoke and no ashes to clear. Plus, without the need for a flue, they’re simple to install and retrofit.
Split system reverse-cycle air conditioners are among the most efficient ways of heating your home and are suitable for single rooms through to large areas. Compare energy star ratings and, for maximum efficiency, make sure you get the right size for the space.
“Most models can also link to a smart device, allowing you to remotely set temperature and schedules to ensure rooms are warm before you get out of bed or arrive home,” says Daniel. Units must be put in by a licensed installer, which we can organise for you. (Ask about the Heat Pump Supply & Standard Installation service at the Bunnings Special Orders Desk.)
Pro tip: “When choosing an electric heater, always look at wattage to match the heat output to the size of the room,” says John.
Sleek and quiet, panel heaters can be a great space-savvy solution. “They work using convection heating,” Daniel says. “Air is drawn over the element and rises up through the unit and out the top through vents.” Features to look for include multiple power settings and a thermostat to maintain your desired room temperature without wasting energy.
Pro tip: To boost the effectiveness of heaters, ensure rooms are well-insulated, draughts are blocked and ceiling fans are switched to winter mode.
With its atmospheric crackling flames, a woodfire heater can be a cosy focal point. Quinn Stirling of Scandia suggests first looking at the size of the firebox (bigger being better for large spaces). “In terms of size, generally the larger the firebox, the more area it will heat, for longer,” says Quinn.
“The next decision is whether to opt for a convection or radiant appliance,” adds Quinn. “Convection wood fires use a fan to provide a very consistent, controllable ambient warmth. By contrast, on a radiant appliance, it’s the outer skin of the firebox that radiates heat to warm nearby objects and people, which can be preferable if you want to ‘feel’ the fire, while watching the flames.”
We’ve got a heater to suit every budget – browse our wide range of indoor heaters today.
Some products are not available at all Bunnings stores, but may be ordered.
Photo Credit: Scandia and Arlec.
Some photographs feature products from suppliers other than Bunnings.