GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR HEATING
Reduce Heat Loss With Insulation
As the temperature difference between the
air at ceiling level and the outside air is high
in winter (because hot air has risen to the
ceiling), heat losses through an uninsulated
ceiling can be high. Thus, insulating the
ceiling is the first priority when seeking to
reduce heat losses.
Select a form of
insulation which provides an additional
thermal resistance level to the roof of at
least R2.0. The R-value is a precise measurement of the insulation's resistance to heat transfer; the higher the R-value, the less heat will escape through the insulation.
If reconstructing walls or floors, or building a new house, add insulation during construction.
Keep Doors Shut
Avoid unnecessary opening and closing of outside doors. It lets the heat out, the cold in and creates draughts. If there are forgetful people or children around, consider the use of automatic door-closers, or mount the door on a rising-butt hinge.
It is also important to keep doors between heated and unheated areas of the house closed. If your house has an "open-plan" design, consider the installation of additional doors (or heavy curtains) so that the house can be "zoned".
Wear More Clothes - Use More Bedclothes
Simply putting on an extra jumper or warmer clothes means you need to heat your home less. Children and elderly people may need to be reminded to adjust their clothing. An extra quilt or blanket will keep a person warm without wasting energy heating the whole bedroom.
Only Heat the Rooms Used
Heating the whole house is often unnecessary. A house should be zoned into living and sleeping areas, and it should be sufficient to heat only the living area.
Turn off the heater when everyone is going to bed or when no-one is home. If you prefer to wake up to a warm house each morning, heaters with time switches can be set to switch on half an hour or so before you start the day.
In general, heating for a specific purpose is more economical than heating a large space. For example, an electric blanket provides low-cost, efficient bedroom heating.