CHOICE has discovered the cheapest option to heat your home this winter depending on whether you own or rent


Heating the house during the winter is quite expensive, but this is in addition to the increase in the prices of the electricity bill, which comes into force on July 1, and we could have a very expensive season.

There are ways to manage costs, however, and one of the best is to choose the most cost-effective heating option.

To help us, the CHOICE team has worked hard to analyze which heating systems are the cheapest to install and operate.

READ MORE: The Big Heating Mistakes You Make That Will Skyrocket Your Bills

However, which option is best for the hip pouch actually depends on whether you are a renter or a homeowner.

For homeowners, CHOICE has found that it’s cheaper in the long run to pay a higher upfront cost and install reverse cycle air conditioning.

As for tenants, the most affordable option is an electric heater. Depending on your budget and the model you choose, it will cost you less in the short run, but cost more to run.

Air conditioner

Using the heating function of the air conditioning is an economical option for the winter. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

According to CHOICE, running reverse-cycle air conditioning for an entire year costs a bit more than running an electric heater for a few months.

You will just need to be aware of the cost of the unit and installation, as well as the time it will take to install it.

READ MORE: 5 tips to keep the heat inside your home this winter

“On average, you can expect to pay around $2,000 for a new split-system air conditioner, but the price range is $600 to $5,500,” says CHOICE heating expert Chris Barnes.

“Installation will add at least a few hundred dollars more… For a typical single-family home, the cost can easily reach $10,000 or more, depending on the size and type of system you choose.”

Gas heating

At the time of publication of the CHOICE report, gas was the second most affordable heating option. But there are fears that the shortage of natural gas will cause prices to spike, so that could change.

Regardless of the cost of gas heating, it is not an option that everyone can afford, as your home must first be hooked up to gas.

There are also other disadvantages when it comes to gas heaters.

CHOICE said units can be expensive, costing anywhere from $500 to $1,400, and you’ll also have to pay for regular maintenance.

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Portable electric heaters

This option is very convenient because you can install a radiator in the room where you need more heat.

Additionally, electric heaters are cheap to start with, with units costing as little as $30 to purchase.

But portable electric heaters are expensive to run, and even if you choose the slightly more economical oil column heater, you won’t save much.

“A portable electric heater can cost almost three times as much to run on average as a reverse-cycle air conditioner (based on heating six hours a day for 12 weeks in a moderate winter),” CHOICE said.

Woman holding hands to warm up winter bills energy prices living in cold weather poverty
A heater is essential in the winter but some choices are more expensive than others. (Stock/Getty)

How to choose a portable electric heater

Since many of us are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, an electric heater is a good option if there isn’t much in the kitty right now to pay for a heating system. air conditioner.

But you’ll need to find a unit that not only fits your budget, but also performs well.

READ MORE: CHOICE tests of 13 electric heaters reveal none good enough to recommend

After analyzing a range of electric heaters, CHOICE found that price is not an indicator of a heater’s efficiency.

“Of the electric heaters we’ve recommended in the past, some have cost under $100 and some over $400, but their winter running costs tend to be similar at around $300 – and we’ve found other models with similar prices and operating costs, but perform much worse,” Chris said.

It is therefore best to consult the reviews of electric heaters from CHOICE before making a decision. You can also research online to find out which retailers have heaters on sale for the biggest savings.

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Other ways to save on heating costs

Once you have adjusted your heating, there are many things you can do around the house to make your heating more efficient.

Using curtains, windbreaks and rugs will help keep the heat inside the room, so you won’t need to leave the heater on as long or run it as high.

For more tips on keeping the heat inside the house, click here.

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