Melbournians all know just how bleak the cold winters in our beautiful city can get. However, there’s no need to endure through another bitterly cold winter season with these smart heating solutions that will help you transform your home into a cosy winter escape.
Set the foundation
The first step toward maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home throughout the winter months, is to set a foundation that will ensure your home can passively retain heat.
Drafts are often the main offenders that contribute to heat loss in the home, so start off by checking all your windows are adequately sealed and your front and back doors are fitted with draft stoppers. Chimneys are also a common source of drafts, so it’s worth investing in a fireplace cover that allows you to close the opening when it’s not in use.
Windows can also cause significant heat loss in the home, so it’s a smart move to opt for double glazed windows finished with quality thermal window coverings which will reduce the amount of heat that’s able to escape.
Your floor coverings also affect the internal temperature of your home. While tiles, polished concrete and floorboards will help your home stay cool during the summer months, they can fast become your worst enemy during winter. Underfloor heating can be a great way to warm up cold floors, or simply opt for carpet or rugs that are more effective in retaining heat and will offer a soft, warm finish.
The type of insulation you use will also significantly impact the thermal performance of your home. Insulation products are each assigned an ‘R-value’ which measures their resistance to heat flow (the higher the R-value, the better the thermal performance), so it’s a smart move to opt for insulation with a high R-value where possible.
Traditional heating options
Once you’ve set the foundation, you can consider your preferred heating options.
Ducted or central heating systems are a popular choice, as you can specify your preferred temperature and quickly warm the entire home. Most systems will also allow you to set individually controlled zones, so you can heat specific rooms or areas of the home as needed. Most modern systems can also be integrated with a cooling system for year-round use.
Reverse cycle or split-system air conditioning units are another popular option because they offer both heating and cooling functions, are relatively easy and affordable to install and can even help purify the air in your home.
Then there’s also the option of a traditional fireplace. Whether it’s a built-in open fireplace or freestanding wood burner, nothing beats the beauty and authenticity of a fireplace. While they are a more labour-intensive option and may not be suitable for everyday use, they can be an ideal addition to your home heating solution, providing both warmth and ambience.
If you love the romance of a fireplace but want a more eco-friendly option, you may be considering an ethanol fireplace. While they offer the aesthetics and ambience of a traditional fireplace without the need for a chimney or flue, it’s important to note that they’re not designed to be a primary source of heat.
If you want to adopt an environmentally friendly approach to heating your home, there are also a range of eco-heating options on the market.
Solar air heating can be an effective solution that uses solar panels to collect energy from the sun, to deliver fresh, warm air into your home. They provide an effective way to regulate the temperature of your home throughout both the cooler and warmer months, but you may need to combine it with other heating/cooling systems during more extreme weather conditions.
Hydronic heating systems are another eco-friendly option. They work by heating water and pumping it through sealed pipes to radiators placed throughout the home, which can then be individually adjusted to the preferred temperate for each room. Hydronic heating can also be a good option if you’re looking for a dust and allergen-free heating solution.
Geothermal systems are also growing in popularity because of their eco-efficiency and ability to regulate the internal temperature of the home year-round. Geothermal systems work by drilling large holes below the grounds surface and inserting Ground Heat Exchangers (GHE’s), which harness the constant moderate temperature of the earth to heat or cool water which is used regulate the temperature of your home. Because of the amount of excavation that’s required to install them, Geothermal systems are generally more suitable for new home builds.