Winter Heating Myth Adds $155 to Your Electricity Bill

On average, your winter electricity bill is $200 more expensive, but your choice of home heating makes a big difference.

For most households, the costs associated with controlling the temperature in your home are the biggest energy wasters.

Your heating habits in the winter are likely to be particularly costly, adding to your energy bill issues such as lack of insulation reducing heat retention in your home and the fact that it takes more energy to heat a space than it does to cool it.

However, some methods are better than others. Surprisingly, the most economical way to heat a space is with reverse cycle air conditioning rather than other methods such as a portable electric heater or gas heater.

Speaking to ABCEnergy advisor Tim Forsey says the device is “the cheapest option.”

“I can’t believe how many houses I visit where the air conditioners are turned off in favor of other types of heating,” he said.

“We have so demonized the use of air conditioners that the idea has not reached us: air conditioning is the cheapest option.”

In the report SeekerThey found that, on average, running a reverse cycle air conditioner costs about 85 cents a day. Meanwhile, the average electric heater costs $2.32 per day and the average gas heater costs $2.76.

Using these numbers, this means that, on average, an electric or gas heater costs $1.69 more per day than a reverse cycle air conditioner. For the entire winter, this amounts to $155.48.

Mr. Forsey acknowledges “the magic of a heat pump that takes heat from outside and brings it into your home.” It is more energy efficient than an electric or gas heater, which uses your energy source to create heat that then heats up your home.

Among his other tips, he also included things like cleaning the air conditioner filter to improve the appliance’s airflow. This will make it more efficient at work so that it can use less power to complete the same task.

Previously, in conversation with DiMattina of sustainable lifestyle group The New Joneses also said there are several budget-friendly ways to keep your home warm. Curtains can also provide insulation and protection from the chill of the night, as can simple items like door kites.

And while it’s more expensive, home upgrades like double glazing your windows can also save up to 40 percent more on electricity because it prevents drafts and crevices around your doors and windows from leaching heat.

“All the heat you pay for will rush out, and the cold will rush in,” Ms. DiMattina says.

While portable electric and gas heaters are more expensive, especially when compared to reverse cycle wall mounted air conditioners, they are also likely to cost you more in the long run.

According to Australian Energy Councill, in winter, electricity bills can increase by $200 as a result of heating. They also determined the ideal winter temperature of 19°C.

“It is estimated that every degree above 20 degrees can add 10 percent to energy consumption,” they said.

Originally published as Winter Heating Myth Adds $155 to Your Electricity Bill