Sizzling winter heat

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In winter we all want to be cosy and warm at home. By making smart decisions about the way you heat your home you can save money and maximise the value of your property. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are many stylish or environmentally friendly (some are even both!) ways to heat your home and create a statement.

The first consideration is whether you have an existing hearth, freestanding unit or built in during a renovation as a design feature. The second consideration is how important the eco principles of the heating solution are to you and your family. There are pros and cons to most heating solutions and you need to think about your budget, ongoing fuel costs, safety (particularly for children) and how much heat you need in the space you have.

If your area is relatively mild, you won’t need a big roaring fireplace, even though they do look great. Think about a gas burning decorative fireplace that gives the look of fire, but without too much heat. In colder climates for serious heat, an open fireplace will always do the trick but think about a wood or pellet burning stove, which will be practical as well as provide heat.

There are a huge range of freestanding fireplace options which you can take with you if you move. They don’t require a flue or any installation, you just take them out of the box and they’re ready to go. They tend to use bio-ethanol, which is comes from agricultural waste. They come in new looks now to suit your style such as contemporary glass fireplaces.

Gas log fires give the look and feel of a traditional log fire and can easily be retro-fitted into an existing fireplace, burning natural gas or LP gas. LP gas costs more than natural gas and contains more carbon, but burns about three times hotter.

A split system heating and cooling system might add value to your home as well as being used in both summer and winter. If you like having a constant heat rather than a specific heat source, like a fire to sit around, then this is a great option for you. Shop around for an energy efficient  model to cut down on your electricity bills.

A traditional, flued wood-burning fireplace breathes life and heat into any room. But before you start thinking about a traditional brick chimney, look into a new insert type heater. They’re designed to fit into your existing brick chimney to change it to a modern fuel efficient and low pollution wood heater. These type of insert type wood heaters have almost the same efficiencies of their free-standing counterparts.

Fuelling the fire can be expensive so you might want to look to the sun to really save. A solar heating system heats your home using the power of the sun by pumping fresh air through the solar panel that sits on your roof. The air is heated as it moves through the solar collector before it’s pumped back into the ducted heating system to warm your home. The upfront cost is higher, but ongoing is relatively inexpensive, from as little as 10c a day.

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