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RumpledElf

Heating bills

18 posts in this topic

One thing we don't have in the new house (so we have to cough up for it basically as soon as the house arrives) is heating.

We don't want to pay a fortune for heating ... so I'm trying to work out the 'best' option, and they are pretty hard to compare, so I was wondering if anyone had experience with the various forms of heating out there and can comment on them.

Our basic options are:

Reverse cycle airconditioning (which is fine until it gets below about 5 degrees, then it doesn't do much unless you've paid extra for one that will work at subzero temperatures). Costs about $1200 depending on installation (which we might be able to get free) and doesn't work in power failures.

Off peak heat bank - never used these and don't know anyone who has one. Costs about $1200 plus installation.

Gas heating - worked out that with a small one on 6MJ/H settings you get about a month of heat if used continuous - this is the only one I can get running costs on, of $120 per month or less with a thermostat, assuming it is good enough to not run continuously. The heater itself costs $1300, probably plus installation.

Wood isn't going to happen, unless we buy the stuff pre-cut its just too much work, and pre-cut wood isn't particularly cheap. Wood heaters cost $1500 and up.

A sunlizard, which sounds nice but obviously won't work at night time and I don't know anyone with one of these either. For all I know they're fantastic ... this is the option with the lowest running costs. And I just googled it and the company closed down due to lack of R&D funding in our useless backwater of a country so this one is now relegated to a DIY project.

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Wearing more clothes I think would have to be the cheapest :P

Failing that, good insulation, double glazing and if you could somehow integrate that Sunlizard with underfloor heating you might have a really good longterm solution.

Looking at the options it seems that cheap running costs = expensive installation, and vice versa.

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I usually retreat to choice magazine or whirlpool.com for information on such decisions. As hamish says it looks like the classic trade off between up front expense vs long term benefit so I guess it depends on how long term you plan to stay in the place. Actually, I wonder whether the low energy heating solution might boost the price some when it comes to resell given the way energy costs are headed. The rolls royce of heat pumps for me is a ground source heat pump. These take a while to provide any ROI. But you are in the unique position of a new build and probably have a fair sized block.

I've got gas in one room at the moment and heavy backed curtains. This house must be minus one star on the 5 star efficiency rating scheme. The one benefit of having heating in only one room is that it will bring a family together like nothing else. I hear Adelaide can get cold. (Obviously not like Canberra where body warmth can mean the difference between life and death)

I've had ducted heating and it is awesome if a tad expensive.

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I hear Adelaide can get cold. (Obviously not like Canberra where body warmth can mean the difference between life and death)

Adelaide barely gets below 10 degrees at night in the dead of winter, its really mild. Here the range is about -5 up to 10 degrees in winter, where I used to live the range was about -20 up to 5 degrees in winter. We got wood in by the truckload there and had a MASSIVE combustion fire in an even massiver chimney breast.

Check these out:

http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2010/06/22/soda-can-solar-heater-v2-completed/

http://teachingtreasures.com.au/solar-energy/solarroomheatereg.htm

I have a spare window (only a little one but enough to experiment with) so now I want to try making a little one for our current house, just to see if it works, but it would be in wood and not really appropriate to put on the roof. Unfortunately our new house will run east/west so we don't have much north facing wall to put things on so anything really does need to go up on the roof.

Double glazed box with black metal at the bottom, baffles and a solar powered fan is the gist of it, the tricky bit is getting pipes into the house without damaging the house, considering this would just be an experiment. Our main living area has quite large windows (double sliding door) so you can't just open up a window a crack and stick a bit of wood in there with pipeholes through it :(

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One thing we don't have in the new house (so we have to cough up for it basically as soon as the house arrives) is heating.

We don't want to pay a fortune for heating ... so I'm trying to work out the 'best' option, and they are pretty hard to compare, so I was wondering if anyone had experience with the various forms of heating out there and can comment on them.

Our basic options are:

Reverse cycle airconditioning (which is fine until it gets below about 5 degrees, then it doesn't do much unless you've paid extra for one that will work at subzero temperatures). Costs about $1200 depending on installation (which we might be able to get free) and doesn't work in power failures.

Off peak heat bank - never used these and don't know anyone who has one. Costs about $1200 plus installation.

Gas heating - worked out that with a small one on 6MJ/H settings you get about a month of heat if used continuous - this is the only one I can get running costs on, of $120 per month or less with a thermostat, assuming it is good enough to not run continuously. The heater itself costs $1300, probably plus installation.

Wood isn't going to happen, unless we buy the stuff pre-cut its just too much work, and pre-cut wood isn't particularly cheap. Wood heaters cost $1500 and up.

A sunlizard, which sounds nice but obviously won't work at night time and I don't know anyone with one of these either. For all I know they're fantastic ... this is the option with the lowest running costs. And I just googled it and the company closed down due to lack of R&D funding in our useless backwater of a country so this one is now relegated to a DIY project.

in qld we just put on an extra pair of shorts and some insulated thongs. sorry doesn't help you. go for wood, it feels great!

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Wood isn't going to happen, unless we buy the stuff pre-cut its justtoo much work, and pre-cut wood isn't particularly cheap. Wood heaterscost $1500 and up.

Get a chainsaw!:thumbsup:

I've got quite a load of seasoned timber from garden trees I'm trying to get rid off. You'd probably find something similar in your local if you put the word around.

If the house is large enough you could get both stove wood and gas heating. Gas wall units have no charm!

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Edit: Excellent for when Jehovahs Witnesses call round!

A chainsaw works on them too. I bought my chainsaw on Halloween!

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One thing we don't have in the new house (so we have to cough up for it basically as soon as the house arrives) is heating.

We don't want to pay a fortune for heating ... so I'm trying to work out the 'best' option, and they are pretty hard to compare, so I was wondering if anyone had experience with the various forms of heating out there and can comment on them.

Our basic options are:

Reverse cycle airconditioning (which is fine until it gets below about 5 degrees, then it doesn't do much unless you've paid extra for one that will work at subzero temperatures). Costs about $1200 depending on installation (which we might be able to get free) and doesn't work in power failures.

Off peak heat bank - never used these and don't know anyone who has one. Costs about $1200 plus installation.

Gas heating - worked out that with a small one on 6MJ/H settings you get about a month of heat if used continuous - this is the only one I can get running costs on, of $120 per month or less with a thermostat, assuming it is good enough to not run continuously. The heater itself costs $1300, probably plus installation.

Wood isn't going to happen, unless we buy the stuff pre-cut its just too much work, and pre-cut wood isn't particularly cheap. Wood heaters cost $1500 and up.

A sunlizard, which sounds nice but obviously won't work at night time and I don't know anyone with one of these either. For all I know they're fantastic ... this is the option with the lowest running costs. And I just googled it and the company closed down due to lack of R&D funding in our useless backwater of a country so this one is now relegated to a DIY project.

My experiences all relavant for Perth;

Wood fire; at $150.00 to $200.00 a load for bush wood pre cut and $300.00 per load for jarrah it is not cheap. The $300.00 of Jarrah gets me through about 6 weeks.

Reverse Cycle; We had that at the last rental, fully ducted and it was gold just put the temp on the dial and forget about it for the whole season. Not a significant difference between summer and winter bills so it is hard to say what it cost per month?

Electric cheapies; Last winter as it drew to a close I was not keen to lug yet another load of wood round the side into the backyard so bought 3 small electric heaters, the 2400w ones you can get for $25.00.... This was not cheap for the last month of winter our bill increased by over $300.00 i.e. it was more expensive even than the wood. Not a good idea unless your power is included in the rent. ;)

Gas unvented heater; We just bought one for this winter. The Rinnai (Avenger 25?) for $1150.00 It is enough to take the edge off the cold in the whole home or really heat up our main living area which has an exposed cieling, i.e. expensive to heat! That said we have not had real cold weather yet. Be interested to see what it costs to run over this winter.

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My experiences all relavant for Perth;

Wood fire; at $150.00 to $200.00 a load for bush wood pre cut and $300.00 per load for jarrah it is not cheap. The $300.00 of Jarrah gets me through about 6 weeks.

Reverse Cycle; We had that at the last rental, fully ducted and it was gold just put the temp on the dial and forget about it for the whole season. Not a significant difference between summer and winter bills so it is hard to say what it cost per month?

Electric cheapies; Last winter as it drew to a close I was not keen to lug yet another load of wood round the side into the backyard so bought 3 small electric heaters, the 2400w ones you can get for $25.00.... This was not cheap for the last month of winter our bill increased by over $300.00 i.e. it was more expensive even than the wood. Not a good idea unless your power is included in the rent. ;)

Gas unvented heater; We just bought one for this winter. The Rinnai (Avenger 25?) for $1150.00 It is enough to take the edge off the cold in the whole home or really heat up our main living area which has an exposed cieling, i.e. expensive to heat! That said we have not had real cold weather yet. Be interested to see what it costs to run over this winter.

Reverse cycle a/c for heating and anything electric will cost a bomb to run.

Gas probably most sensible IF you have town gas.

Passive solar planning/orientation of the house + thermal mass is ultimately the best starting point (but possibly too late).

Also Double glazing is amazing - had it installed in the rental here in London in January - the difference was difficult to believe!

We went from heating (hydronic/radiators) on most of the day and half the night to barely on at all.

I would thoroughly recommend investigating for bedrooms particlularly (where the overnight cold is felt worst and your glazing areas likely smaller, thus cheaper, to replace).

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Reverse cycle a/c for heating and anything electric will cost a bomb to run.

Gas probably most sensible IF you have town gas.

Passive solar planning/orientation of the house + thermal mass is ultimately the best starting point (but possibly too late).

Also Double glazing is amazing - had it installed in the rental here in London in January - the difference was difficult to believe!

We went from heating (hydronic/radiators) on most of the day and half the night to barely on at all.

I would thoroughly recommend investigating for bedrooms particlularly (where the overnight cold is felt worst and your glazing areas likely smaller, thus cheaper, to replace).

You are probably riht about the r/c aircon however as we ran it all summer too I guess we could not pick up the difference that starkly aircon bills v heating bills.

On house design, it's not too late for me, I rent so I get to learn all these mistakes in other peoples homes before building one myself.

I would actually be keen to find out what you pay per kW there in london for power?

That would be worth doing a study on, see what countries have the most efficient power system. I reckon Australia by rights should have one of the best having near limitless coal but of coarse like most things we probably cannot even do that efficiently.

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You are probably riht about the r/c aircon however as we ran it all summer too I guess we could not pick up the difference that starkly aircon bills v heating bills.

I thought rc ac as heating was quite efficient as far as electrical heating devices go?

the new house has a phuck off rc ac unit in the lounge and I thought running that as heating (on the six weeks we need heating in bne) was the most efficient way of heating? most of Brisbane doesn't have mains gas.

what's the cheapest and bestest way to heat a house with electricity?

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The house design is as good as it gets for a block running north-south, and insulated all around. Going to get heavy curtains etc etc. There's no way the new house is going to be as bad as the old one, this one is solid stone (nasty evil cold thermal mass) and we spend all day in a room facing south. New one we'll be in a north facing room all day, and no stone or brick walls to soak up the cold!

Double glazing is the one thing its too late for - it wasn't even offered as an option. I had 3 windows replaced in this house a few weeks ago and again, it wasn't even on the list of options. Its probably specialty stuff only, reserved for around the airport.

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I would actually be keen to find out what you pay per kW there in london for power?

I had absolutely no idea... so i bothered to look.

Our bill is a combo of standard and discount rates at a ratio of about 1:3.5

Average is something like 3.4p/kWh for gas and 11.2p/kWh for elec.

So my electricity is 3-4X the price of gas per kWh...

See here if you want more: http://www.atlanticeg.co.uk/OurPrices/

...you'll need a legit London postcode to get prices.

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You get power much cheaper than us!

Found a good site to explore aus pricing, but does not have WA. (My wife handles these matters and while I have found phone bills and all sort, no power bills!)

In NSW it appears they pay 24c per kw/hour looking at energy Australia

Thats heaps more than you guys. They call us the lucky country? What are we doing wrong? surely natural gas is one thing we can do cheap? Surely?

I reckon this nearly deserves a segment on today tonight, why do we pay more for our gas than in the UK?

Checked intergral for electricity:

Consumption p/annum Base electricity

(Usage excludes off peak water)

3 MWh p/a(low usage) $833

7 MWh p/a(medium usage) $1,666

11 MWh p/a(high usage) $2,589

and gas

Energy plans: DailySaverˆˆ

Consumption p/annum DailySaverˆˆ DailySaverˆˆ / GreenGas+

6 GJ p/a (low usage) $322

24 GJ p/a (medium usage) $652

45 GJ p/a (high usage) $1,021

Now I need to remember what a joule is in watts? wiki here I come!

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