It's been a freezing cold week in many parts of Australia, and I'm sure many shivering Workshop community members have been thinking about how to keep warm at home.
The latest Workshop poll asks what heating do you have installed at your house. If you have multiple systems, please just choose your primary source of warmth. The poll can be found on the front page underneath the Join the discussion icons.
I would also encourage community members to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various heating systems by replying to the conversation below.
@Jason, we have ducted reverse cycle, which is great, but like all climate control systems, it must be used sensibly, & for maximum efficiency, the home insulated to the max.
During the cold spell, our unit got put on when we rose to take away the chill, & then shutdown after an hour or less later. That did it for the day, unless we returned from outside, & were chilled to the bone.
I don't dictate a policy of only putting it on if we're freezing, it can go on at any time, the only proviso, is that we're dressed appropriately, & once warmed through, it goes off.
It's worked so well, that Tania voluntarily lowered the cut in point for it to cut in, down to 21C.
In truth, our roof insulation isn't to modern standards (40yrs/old), it's dust laden & sparce in places due to various ceiling installations like downlights etc.
I'm not here to convert anyone to any particular heating/cooling system, in fact, using what you have is the best system. Using it sensibly, & if possible complimenting it with the best insulation that is affordable, along with sensible clothing, will bring rewards.
We have reverse cycle in the wall type.
If it gets cold use it. We have 15 solar panels for power on our roof and solar water besides. We still get a bill but we are glad it's not what it would be without the solar panels.
Instead of a wood fire you might consider a gas fireplace, particularly if you have access to gas (might not be a great option if you have to use LPG bottles). They can be really beautiful and are good for quick instant heat which might suit for coming in for lunch.
We're in Melbourne and installed a couple of Jetmaster units when we renovated nearly a decade ago now. They are certainly not cheap, but they are relatively inexpensive to run, look fantastic and it’s a lovely heat. People have even mistaken them for a real fire, particularly as we installed one of the units in a fireplace. They are the only heating we have in the house and we would do the same thing again. We particularly like having the main unit in the living area on a timer so it automatically comes in before we get up in the morning and again in the late afternoon before we get home.
I would love gas but alas I have two things against it.
#1 Is hubby hates it and thinks it's dangerous and perhaps it can be but I think having two cooking sources would be great when the power does go out randomly here at times.
#2 We're not on mains, so yes bottled would be a nuisance although I know of many people who have installed the real large tanks away from the home.
I've been thinking of an electric version of your gas "fire" look, as they can look equaly real from what I've seen in my research on google.
Currently we live in a relocatable that has a small reverse cycle system and I program it to come on at 5am as I milk cows for a local dairy farmer in the off season and at least I don't get up into a freezing room. It sets me off for the morning not being cold.
I have family in Melb, Doreen to be exact but I live 45km west of Geelong.
There are now some solar roofing products you can now use.
Tractile also heats water as part of the system.
Monier Solartile similar to Tractile minus the water heating.
Stratco Solatile lacks visual appeal with how they mount it.
Bluescope was working on it too, has a demo house but no product to buy yet.
I have googled your products including the bluescope solartile. They are fantastic products and the Monier Solatile looks fantastic. We have a BRAND NEW colourbond roof, so alas it's far too late to take advantage of such new technology, well unless we win tatts!!
It's dissapointing that no one in the plumbing industry ie: the roofer, supplier etc... made any mention of this new and inovative system that I personally would have loved to have been able to use, although I have no idea just how much more this kind of new technology would have cost but our simple colourbond roof was $20,000.
We have no issues about placing panels on the roof and in fact we also have a farm shed far bigger in area to the house that could carry the panels too, which would mean we wouldn't need to put anything on the new roof of the home.
Very happy to eventually try some kind of solar but it's all about the money. We are building our home entirely ourselves and with our own money and have been at it now for 9 years. We are hay contractors and we need to have a good season to be able to filter funds from the business to the house building and in some years, that hasn't been able to happen, hence the protracted time frame thus far.
Putting up some sort of solar system would be big $$$$ and we still have to save $15,000 to bring power to the home, $5,000 on a sewerage system and a further $25,000 for the kitchen, not to mention, carpets, etc...BUT we will get solar as soon as we can however, ity may just be a few years off still.
Thankyou for your input all the same, it's great to know there are some great new designs coming along for the next generation of builders!!!
@Baretta11would you consider going with a Geo Thermal airconditioner & maybe even hot water?
If you have a backhoe, or can borrow one, you'll save a large chunk of money on the install.
You mentioned that you're interested in ducted evap air/con, going with a ducted Geo unit, you'll have the flexibility of cooling or heating only the rooms that you want.
As a bonus, due to savings in running costs, you'll get away with a smaller solar system.
Hope this helps.
We looked into geothermal over 10 years ago, before we even drew up the house plans but the guy we were getting info from seemd a little too shonky and we were scared off him, although never off the actual idea. It is a very normal system in America as I understand it!!
I have downloaded the information to the link you attached and hubby and I will have a good read of it again.
Not sure if it needs to be done during construction and if so then it would be too late but I suspect such a system could be retrofitted otherwise it would have very limited use.
As I said I haven't read the info yet but I'm excited that we may infact be able to go back to our original idea.
As for a backhoe or excatator, have a good friend with one that is going to put in our sewerage tank, how lucky is that!!
Thanks for the link.