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Most Cost Effective Way to Heat Your Home This Winter

Category Helpful Hints

Most South African homes are designed with tiled floors, open verandas and large windows to help keep them cool in the warm South African climate.

Oil heaters are most effective in contained spaces such as a single room. Open-plan living areas are simply too big for an oil heater to make a real impact.

However, what keeps the homes cool in summer makes them harder to heat in the winter. Have you ever stopped to think about which heating option is the most energy efficient and appropriate for your home?

Eskom shares some tips…

Money talks

Eskom asked an energy expert to work out the energy and costs needed to heat an average sized room to 18 °C and keep the temperature consistent for one month.

The study showed that the cost of heating the room from 11 ° C to 18 ° C was significantly more than maintaining a constant temperature and due to South Africa’s low electricity tariffs, electricity is always the more cost-effective heating option.

On average, heating a room with electricity costs R24.17, while it costs R50.81 to do it with gas.

Maintaining a room’s temperature for 24 hours costs R3.29 if you’re using electricity, but costs R6.91 if you’re using gas.

Heating and maintaining the room temperature for 30 days costs R122.87 if you use electricity, and R258.11 if you use gas.

Heating smart this winter

According to the energy experts, underfloor heating is the most ineffective way to heat a home. The floor has to be heated before the temperature of the room can be influenced, and even then, the warm air continues to rise into the ceiling.

In homes without roof insulation, underfloor heating will fight a losing battle.

Because most wall-mounted heaters are quite small in size, raising the room temperature means they have to be left on for a long time. A further disadvantage is that it radiates onto walls and heats up the bricks.

Gas heaters are not necessarily more effective than electrical heaters but given the high cost of bottled gas, electric heating is still cheaper in South Africa. The main advantage of gas heaters is that they radiate heat almost immediately.

As far as increased comfort, cost and power usage goes, the most effective heating option is an infrared heater, like the ones often used in restaurants. These heaters are the most energy effective because they heat up objects and not the air.

All things considered, the most effective heater for your home this winter is either an oil heater or a 2 kilowatt fan heater, both with thermostats. These two types of heater consume around the same amount of electricity to heat a room but have different advantages and disadvantages.

Oil heaters are most effective in contained spaces such as a single room. Open-plan living areas are simply too big for an oil heater to make a real impact.

They do take a little longer and a fair amount of energy before the heater's effect is felt because the oil and metal take time to warm up.

Fan heaters provide heat and comfort immediately and they can be directed to where the hot air is most needed. Most fan heaters come with a small container that can be filled with water to prevent the air in the room from drying out.

Heating hints and tips

- Insulation is the single most important factor when it comes to heating a home. An insulated room requires 51% less energy than an uninsulated room. Insulating your home’s ceiling is the simplest and most effective to prevent the warm air generated by the heaters from escaping.

- Only heat the rooms that you and your family are going to spend time in.

Author: Eskom

Submitted 11 May 16 / Views 749