When the weather cools down, we all start thinking of ways to make our homes cosier. But how should you power your heating system? Understanding how energy is most efficiently used throughout the home will help you get your energy mix right.
When it comes to heating, water systems and more, electricity and natural gas are the two main energy sources used in residences across Australia. Rooftop solar is also popular in some parts of Australia.
When thinking about energy for your new home – and keeping yourself comfortably warm throughout winter – remember that each of these energy sources can contribute in a different way.
Grid electricity is generated mostly at power stations that use thermal energy sources, such as coal and gas. Some electricity also comes from renewable energy sources, such as hydro power, wind and bioenergy, however it is still a small fraction of the national electricity pool.
Prefer an electric heater? Grid sourced electricity is a reliable source for lighting and power connections around the house. Electric heating and cooling systems and electric hot water systems are also available, but the energy efficiency of these appliances is varied. It is important to check the energy star rating of any system you are considering, think about how you plan to use it in your home, and compare its efficiency to alternatives.
Natural gas is also an efficient, powerful energy source for home heating systems, hot water systems and kitchen cooktops. It produces less greenhouse gas emissions than electricity so is often seen as a more environmentally friendly option.
In regards to winter warmers, natural gas heating and hot water systems are widely used in Australia and highly reliable and very economical due to the low cost of natural gas.
While your choice of heating system will depend on your specific property and your personal choice, it may be helpful to be informed about what natural gas alternatives are available to you.
Natural gas cooktops are also efficient and reliable appliances, both in terms of energy use and cost. It is a favoured option among people who prefer its high degree of controllability.
Natural gas give you greater control over flame-size and better results
In Australia, some of the electricity is made from renewable power sources such as hydro, solar, wind and bio energy.
However you can also directly connect some forms of renewable energy to your home, such as though the installation of rooftop solar photovoltaic panels. Though it requires significant upfront and maintenance costs, solar energy provides a renewable energy source that can be used in your electric applications at home, and can offer long-term savings.
Different systems have different benefits and disadvantages, and you will need to evaluate how these may impact energy use and cost in your home before making a decision.
When considering how different energy sources will operate best during winter, there are several factors that will contribute to the energy mix you decide on:
- Your preferences in terms of appliance style and features
- Economic efficiency and energy star ratings of suitable appliances
- Upfront appliance purchase, installation and operating
- Your preferences regarding environmental impact
- Keeping these things in mind as you do your research will help you get your home energy mix right.
Looking to stay warm this winter? Then take the next step today