Close up shot of burning gas log fire.

What is the Best Type of Heater for Your Home?

As the famous Game of Thrones quote goes, winter is coming, so many Australian homeowners are getting their heater primed and ready for use. For many households, it’s likely the first time in at least six months that they’ve had to rely on their heating.

While some heaters might simply pick up where they left off, others might need replacing. Which begs the question – which is the best type for your home? With so many options available, each boasting different features, benefits and drawbacks, it can be a complicated question to answer. Luckily, we’re here to make a solid attempt to do so.

So, rug up, get into your most comfortable, round-the-house-only clothes, grab a cuppa and read on.

Keep Your Room Warm with One of These

To keep your family warm, there are three key types of home heating solutions to choose from. They are:

  • Gas heater
  • Electric heater
  • Reverse cycle air conditioner

Each has their own features and benefits, but also some possible drawbacks that are well worth considering too. After all, to determine the best option for your home, you need to know what it won’t do for you just as much as what it will do.

So, let’s take a look at these options, including the different types that fall within each category, so you can make as informed a choice as you can.

Gas Heater

One of the most common heating options found in many Australian homes is the gas heater. As its name implies, gas heating provides warmth to the indoor spaces of your home by burning gas.

When choosing a gas heater for your home, there are numerous points to consider.

  • Do you go for natural gas or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas)?
  • Fixed unit or a portable option?
  • Flued or unflued gas heaters?

So, let’s explore these further.

It’s important to understand that a gas heater built specifically for LPG will not work with natural gas, and vice versa. Natural gas heaters are connected to your home’s main gas supply and are typically fixed in place. LPG heaters are connected to a gas bottle and are portable.

Unlike fixed natural gas heaters, portable gas heaters do not require a flue to divert potentially harmful emissions like carbon monoxide outdoors.

However, unflued gas heaters should not by used in smaller rooms. You should only use unflued gas heaters in larger spaces with suitable ventilation. Not doing so leaves you vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Gas heater installed in home.

What are the Benefits of Gas Heating?

A gas heater is often more expensive to buy and install than an electric-powered model, however, they are typically cheaper to run. They also present a variety of features, benefits and drawbacks that are worth your consideration. Benefits include:

  • Greater energy efficiency than an electric heater
  • Quick and effective at getting and keeping the room warm
  • Can still enjoy heat output in the event of a power outage
  • Lower carbon footprint due to fewer greenhouse gas emissions than with electric

In addition to the higher cost of purchase for a gas heater, other potential drawbacks include:

  • Cost of installation is higher than for electric heaters
  • Health and safety concerns with possible gas leaks and poor installation/maintenance
  • Their reliance on a gas supply; a disruption or shortage can leave homes without heating

For optimal performance and safety, you will need a regular service by a licensed heating and cooling professional.

Electric Heater

If convenience is the biggest factor in deciding which option to buy, then electric space heaters might be the choice for you. Portability is their strong selling point; as they don’t require connection to the gas line, and instead only require a powerpoint to plug into, you can use them in just about any room of your home.

They have a maximum heating capacity of 2.4kW and are designed to bring heat to small spaces of between 20 and 30m².

Electric heaters come in a range of options, so there is a variety of options to choose from, from fully installed to portable heaters.

  1. Radiant heaters – typically the least expensive option to buy, radiant heaters will heat the area within its immediate vicinity rather than the entire room. You may want to keep this one close to you if you’re relaxing on the couch.
  2. Oil column heaters – the oil-filled columns might take a little longer to heat in this unit, but once they do, they continue providing heat to your room long after you’ve turned the heater off.
  3. Fan-forced systems – Fan heaters are ideal for small spaces as they are great at quickly dispersing the heated air across the room.
  4. Convection heater – The perfect solution for small rooms with low ceilings, convection heaters (also known as panel heaters) provide warmth to the air which then rises and spreads throughout the room. Combination convection-radiant heaters are also available.
  5. Heat lamp – A common fixture in bathrooms, usually as part of a lighting/heating combination.

Another option that is available, though possibly less common, is the electric fireplace.

An Electric Fireplace?

You can enjoy the visual appeal and cosy ambience of a traditional fireplace, complete with log effect, without the firewood and smoke or the need for a chimney.

Instead, an electric fireplace imitates the flame effect by using LED lights in place of flames. Some even simulate the production of smoke by emitting steam.

Like the gas heater, an electric model also comes with its strengths and weaknesses. The biggest benefits are:

  • Convenient due to its portability.
  • The affordability at the point of purchase.
  • The general ease of use – just plug in and play.
  • No risk of gas leaks inside putting people in danger.

The drawbacks of an electric heating system include:

  • Expensive to run, due to the rising electricity prices around Australia.
  • Not as energy efficient as gas heaters.
  • Lower heating capacity than other options.
  • Loss of heat in the event of a power failure when relying on electricity.

Electric heaters are relatively inexpensive to buy, very easy to use and offer the convenience of portability. However, their high running costs and lack of energy efficiency may be a key dissuading factor for some.

Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner

For an all-in-one, year-round heating and cooling solution, a reverse cycle air conditioner might be just what you need. These systems use electricity to bring warm air to your home in the winter, and cold air in the summer.

Reverse cycle air conditioning most commonly comes in either ducted or split systems. Your biggest choice, therefore, would be either having a series of ducts installed in nominated zones throughout your home or separate split systems installed in as many rooms as you need.

For those who like the classics and want something a bit more portable that they can take (almost) anywhere, some box/window air conditioners also offer reverse cycle functionality.

Energy efficiency is one of the strongest selling points of reverse cycle air conditioning. The technology boasts efficiency between 300-600%. This means it converts one unit of electrical energy into between three and six times as much energy for heating or cooling.

Due to the use of a larger fan and the greater energy loss through the ductwork, split system reverse cycle air conditioners are generally more energy efficient than ducted systems. The most energy efficient option would be one with inverter technology as it is capable of maintaining a comfortable temperature without continually stopping and starting.

How Much Will It Cost?

Of course, one of the biggest deciding factors in choosing the best heater for your home is price.

As with almost anything, the “you get what you pay for” principle certainly applies to home heating solutions. Whether you opt for gas or electric, or go for a full reverse cycle multi-head split system or ducted heating and cooling, you’ll likely find options at each end of the pricing spectrum.

It’s worth bearing in mind that those at the cheaper end of the scale will likely be less efficient than those at the higher end. This means that the purchase savings you might enjoy will, over time, likely be absorbed by the running costs. This trade-off will exist no matter what type of heating solution you choose.

In Conclusion

In many regions of Australia, the winters can get as cold as the summers get hot. So having suitable heating in your home is almost a necessity.

Choosing the best solution to keep your family comfortable depends on a number of factors, but the most common options fall down to gas or electric heating, or reverse cycle air conditioning.

Each of these options come with their own potential strengths and drawbacks. Therefore, determining the best type of heater for your home really depends on which option best meets your needs.

For more details contact the heating and cooling experts at Metropolitan Air Conditioning. We’re available 24/7, every day of the year.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.


Published: 2023-04-13

Air Conditioning Specialists You Can Trust

Our Promise Going Further

Our specialists pride themselves with honest reliable services

Honest

Our fixed pricing structure guarantees transparency. You will always be quoted the complete costs before work can commence, and our expert technicians will guide you through the process.

Our specialists pride themselves with honest reliable services

Committed

Not all jobs are created equal, but all jobs are equally important. Whether it's a simple repair or ducted air conditioning install, we apply the same high levels of dedication and service no matter the scope of the work.

Professional Expert Technicians

Professional

Home is your castle. Your pride and joy. Our well-spoken technicians will show respect towards you and your property and always clean up after themselves.

Technician Zip Pay Payment Options Image
Technician Zip Pay Payment Options Image

Now Available!

Interest free Air Con with trusted pay later options

What Our Happy Customers Have to Say

Better service starts here

5 stars rating

I called them in the morning, and they were at my doorstep within a few hours. The technician was quick to identify the problem, had the necessary parts, and repaired my AC unit in no time.

Marion Minguillon - WA
5 stars rating

My AC was acting up, and I was worried about a hefty repair bill. However, the technicians quickly identified a minor issue, fixed it, and didn't overcharge me. I appreciate their honesty and expertise in troubleshooting the problem.

Sara Cribbs - VIC
5 stars rating

Thorough filter cleaning left no room for concerns, resulting in cleaner air and AC that requires less maintenance. Our home's air quality has improved dramatically, and we couldn't be happier with the outcome.

Lorenzo Rodriguez - SA
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air Conditioning Logo

    When looking for a leading supplier of wall mounted split systems, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries air conditioners offer reliable, high-quality heating and cooling perfect for Australian family homes.

  • Temperzone Air Conditioning Logo

    Temperzone is the award-winning global manufacturer of air conditioners and leaders in climate innovation with a wide range of systems suitable for Australian homes and commercial applications.

  • Bonaire Air Conditioning Logo

    Bonaire heating and cooling systems are economical, yet high performance. Their reliable air conditioners are manufactured in Adelaide and expertly designed to withstand year-round weather extremes.

  • ActronAir Air Conditioning Logo

    For incredible home comfort, you want ActronAir. Ducted systems or wall hung splits, ActronAir air conditioning has the best residential cooling solutions. You'll never complain about the heat again.

  • Braemar Air Conditioning Logo

    Braemar has all your heating and cooling needs sorted. Evaporative cooling, ducted gas heating, space heaters, wall heaters, split systems and reverse cycle - Braemar has you covered year-round.

  • Carrier Air Conditioning Logo

    The Carrier air conditioning range is known for sustainability and affordable prices. As a leading Australian AC supplier, Carrier strives to improve the industry through innovative cooling solutions.

  • Breezair Air Conditioning Logo

    Are you after a market leader in evaporative cooling? You need Breezair. Breezair evaporative coolers are manufactured in Australia so you know you're getting cooling to stand the Aussie heat.

  • Kaden Air Conditioning Logo

    Simple solutions are the foundations of Kaden heating and cooling. Products like the Kaden split system are perfect for the ever changing Australian climate so you can always remain content at home.

  • Celair Air Conditioning Logo

    Celair is a leader in ducted evaporative air conditioning with over 40 years of experience behind them. Manufactured right here in Australia, Celair heating and cooling supports local Australians too.

  • NEC Air Air Conditioning Logo

    Beat the heat with a NEC split system. NEC has a heating and cooling solution that will keep you comfortable in all seasons. Experience superior energy efficient heating and cooling with NEC.

  • Coolair Air Conditioning Logo

    As an Australian owned and operated manufacturer, Coolair evaporative air conditioning makes a great high performance companion for anyone looking to escape the harsh heat of our great southern land.

  • Sanyo Air Conditioning Logo

    Sanyo air conditioning models were known for providing trusted AC performance. Although Sanyo no longer operates, Metropolitan can still offer expert 24/7 service to your existing Sanyo system.

  • Fujitsu Air Conditioning Logo

    Stay comfortable all summer long thanks to Fujitsu air conditioning. Fujitsu ducted air conditioning units are perfect for Aussie homes so when you need repairs or servicing, call Metropolitan.

  • Sharp Air Air Conditioning Logo

    With over 100 years in the industry, Japan’s Sharp Air Conditioning is known for luxury products. Sharp air cons provide convenient and effective cooling performance, to deliver year round comfort.

  • Hitachi Air Conditioning Logo

    Are you ready to discover the incredible range of Hitachi air conditioners? We’re talking split systems, wall mounted, ducted heating and cooling and more. So plenty of options for achieving comfort.

  • Stadt Air Conditioning Logo

    STADT air conditioning is synonymous with high quality Australian owned ducted heating and cooling. For any STADT air conditioning service and repair, we are your Australian experts.

  • Haier Air Conditioning Logo

    With over 30 years in the industry, Haier is known internationally for its energy efficient and smart heating and cooling solutions. Haier heating and cooling is just a tap away.

  • Vulcan Air Conditioning Logo

    When you're after a Vulcan air conditioning service, you want Metropolitan. We're experts in Vulcan climate control, providing repairs and servicing for air conditioners.

  • Kelvinator Air Air Conditioning Logo

    Australians have enjoyed Kelvinator's cooling reliability for over 80 years. Whether you have a Kelvinator window air conditioner or Kelvinator split system, Metropolitan is here to help 24/7.

  • York Air Air Conditioning Logo

    For optimal year-round comfort from your AC unit, York is the name to know. Distributed by Bonaire, York air conditioners Australia offer superior AC solutions perfect for our Australian climate.

  • Lennox Air Conditioning Logo

    Lennox is a globally recognised brand with a great range of energy-efficient HVAC systems. Choose a Lennox air conditioner when craving that desirable climate control and year-round comfort.

  • LG Air Conditioning Logo

    LG is a world leader in consumer electronics, and its air conditioners are no different. From smart split systems to energy efficient ducted air conditioning, LG air conditioning does it all.

  • Midea Air Conditioning Logo

    Midea is an Australian giant with an international reputation for quality split system air conditioning. You can also find portable coolers and window boxes among the Midea air conditioner range.

  • Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Logo

    Mitsubishi Electric supplies premium residential air conditioners in Australia. Their sophisticated designs, including their sleek wall split system models, are built to offer long-term comfort.

  • Panasonic Air Conditioning Logo

    The latest and greatest Panasonic air conditioners go beyond heating and cooling with air purifying features for healthier breathing. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

  • Rinnai Air Conditioning Logo

    Rinnai is a trusted household name in all things heating and cooling. From the Rinnai gas heater to inverter splits and reverse cycle ducted systems, there's a Rinnai solution for every Aussie house.

  • Samsung Air Conditioning Logo

    Samsung Air Conditioning is known for its reliability and performance. These efficient climate systems are as highly regarded as Samsung’s TVs, home appliances and popular Galaxy smartphones.

  • Brivis Air Conditioning Logo

    Brivis by Rinnai has been a titan in the air conditioning game for 50 years. With an impressive heating and cooling system range, the Brivis name goes hand in hand with quality and longevity.

  • Toshiba Air Conditioning Logo

    Toshiba air conditioning makes use of innovative DC Hybrid Inverter technology which automatically provides high capacity heating and cooling when necessary and minimises running costs when it’s not.

  • TECO Air Conditioning Logo

    TECO has been heating and cooling Australian homes for over 30 years. With split systems, multi splits, window/wall air conditioners and ducted air conditioning, TECO has the whole home covered.

Metropolitan Air Conditioning Service Reviews Metropolitan Air Conditioning Service Reviews