As the cost of living continues to rise in Australia, many households are pouring over their expenses searching for ways to save money. With Winter underway, it is crucial to assess your home heating methods to ensure maximum efficiency while minimising running costs.
In 2023, Australians have a range of options for heating their homes, including gas heaters, electric heaters and reverse cycle air conditioning. When selecting the right method, it is essential to consider factors such as cost, heating area size, efficiency, and installation requirements.
Given today’s need for energy efficient and effective heating solutions, we will compare all options to determine what may be the best option for your space.
Gas Heaters offer a convenient solution due to their perceived efficiency and rapid heating capabilities. However, there are limitations.
Availability of gas mains is a prerequisite for using gas heaters, which is not accessible in all homes, let alone all rooms.
Additionally, when utilising a floor-mounted standalone unit, the burning of gas can lead to the emission of pollutants inside the house. As a result, it is recommended to have open windows to release these pollutants, which can be impractical when attempting to maintain a heated environment.
Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Units
Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning units can be floor standing, wall or floor mounted, or even integrated into a whole-home ducted system. While the technology employed allows for energy input to be amplified, resulting in a higher output of heat, the usage is far greater than what is required to heat a bedroom, closed lounge room or study.
These Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning units are designed to heat the whole house rather than just the room you’re in, resulting in high energy wastage and higher power bills that come with it.
Often, a large home will have a Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning unit in the main living area (kitchen, dining, lounge room) and one in the main bedroom, leaving only residual heating for the kids’ bedrooms and study area.
Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Running Costs
Let’s break it down even further! In Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner, an input of 1kW can produce an output of 2.5kW or even higher, depending on the unit’s efficiency (great news!). So, in a small room (up to 20sqm) a 2-3kW system will cost $200 (879kW/h).
This cost is comparative to a good Electric Heater, with one main difference – a Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner often has high installation costs, is not portable and doesn’t provide a heating solution for the rooms it is not in.
Let’s take a look at Electric Heaters. Electric heaters are a convenient solution for immediate heating needs.
They are relatively inexpensive, require no installation (other than plugging them in & switching them on), and their compact size makes them portable.
Vornado VMH Series Heaters
To be more specific, the Vornado VMH Series Heaters run at 750W on Low and 1500W on high, effectively heating a room quickly and evenly, up to 20sqm.
Unlike a gas heater, you don’t have to be sitting on top of the unit to feel its effects. Unlike a reverse cycle air conditioner, there are no installation costs and unit costs are minimal in comparison.
Safety wise, the Vornado VMH Series Heaters feature tip over protection, meaning the unit shuts off if the grill is covered by a wayward towel, toy or blanket, or if the heater is accidentally knocked over.
The Heaters are built with a cool-to-touch coating and a tight spiral grill which keeps curious fingers and pet tails away from the heating elements inside the heater.
Once the room reaches your desired temperature, it will pause to save energy and reduce power wastage, and reactivate once it notices a change in temperature to maintain the warmth in the space, without it becoming overly stuffy.
Another bonus, there’s no need for open windows because there is no toxic output.
VMH350 Whole Room Metal Heater
The VMH350 has an in-built thermostat and remote control, ensuring you can maintain the desired 22 degrees for your baby’s room overnight (and control the settings from their door so you don’t disrupt their sleep). The VMH350 also has a fan only setting for the warmer months.
VMH300 Whole Room Heater
The VMH300 has control dials (rather than push button controls like the VMH350) which increase the set temperature by 2 degrees every notch, allowing to dial in on the perfect temperature for your space.
Vornado VMH Series Heaters Running Costs
Running cost wise, the VMH Series Heaters cost $0.42 per hour to heat a room on high (suggested room size 20sqm). If you want to experience even more savings, run it on low and your cost per hour is only $0.22.
With cheaper Electric Heaters, you’ll will miss out on the peace of mind that comes with Vornado’s advanced safety features, and Vornado’s 5 Year Replacement Warranty. You will also find that the running costs will be higher and the unit can often be louder, especially when operating on the higher settings.
Vornado’s VMH300 Whole Room Metal Heater ranked second for lowest running costs in Choice’s Electric Heater Review for 2023. Vornado Heaters are quiet when running at 42.2dBA (considered a soft noise level which can be compared to the mumblings in a quiet library or gentle-to-moderate rainfall) – making them a perfect heating solution for a bedroom or a study.
In weighing up solutions for your home this Winter, our choice is an Electric Heater. And, because we are bias, we recommend the Vornado VMH Series Whole Room Metal Heaters.
For more information on the units, please visit www.vornado.com.au or experience the difference in store at Harvey Norman, JB Home and David Jones.