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How to choose heating for your home

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

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Choosing the right heater can help warm your room effectively without high energy bills.


Here’s our guide to selecting a heating unit at Bunnings that is perfect for your room’s size, layout and function. We also help you choose more energy efficient products.  


Fan heater Fan Heater.jpg


What: A fan heater uses the circulating power of a fan to distribute warmth quickly and evenly throughout a space. A fan draws in cool air and passes it over the heating element before being circulated back into the room as warm air.


Why: These units are amongst the most affordable. Their compact design makes them highly portable, allowing you to move them quickly where required. They deliver instant and directional heat, offering warmth directly where you need it.


Perfect for: Short-term personal heating in a small area like an office or medium-sized room. Due to the wide range of designs, their versatile nature allows use in most bedrooms and small living spaces


Mitch's energy efficiency rating: 2/5* 

Convection heaterConvection Heater.jpg


What: Convection heaters operate by passing cold air over a heating element. As the warm air current travels upwards, it draws cool air past the element, creating a convection current.


Why: They can effectively heat an entire room, instead of just a particular area. Unlike radiant heaters, they don't require a surface directly in front of them to be heated. 


Perfect for: Short-term heating of shared living spaces or dining rooms. Their silent operation also makes them ideal for bedrooms or office spaces.


Mitch's energy efficiency rating: 3/5* 

Panel heater Panel Heater.png


What: Their heating element is hidden behind a ceramic or metal panel that warms up when turned on. The heat from the element is conducted through the panel and radiated into the room. Panel heaters come in various sizes and are fitted with time and temperature controls.


Why: They produce heat immediately after turning on and are able to warm the air around them quickly. They are also effective at maintaining consistent temperatures, and can be quite energy efficient. Some models offer a wall mounting option, saving floor space. 


Perfect for: Short-term heating for most rooms in a home. Their ease of installation and minimally invasive design makes them an excellent choice in most situations. Their silent operation makes them ideal for bedrooms or office spaces.


Mitch's energy efficiency rating: 3/5* 

Bar radiant heaterBar Heater.jpg


What: Heat is radiated outward using infrared rays, generated by several bars built into the heater. This heater transfers heat directly to people and objects within proximity, so it isn't the best option to heat an entire room. They come in two, three and four bar options, often allowing the user to control how many elements function at any given time. 


Why: Their small size and portability make them ideal for personal use. They can be quickly set up, packed away, and are typically very budget friendly. 


Perfect for: Short-term heating of small to medium-sized rooms. Models without fans have a silent operation, making them suitable for bedrooms or office spaces.


Mitch's energy efficiency rating: 2/5* 

Oil heater Oil heater edited.png


What: An oil column heater uses a heating element to warm its oil-filled metal fins. The air passing through these fins is then heated. This gives an even, comfortable temperature around the room.


Why: Oil has a high heat capacity that can store heat for a long time, making oil heaters an excellent choice for consistent heating in a room. They have better energy efficiency than other heaters as the energy consumed is largely converted directly into heat. The absence of a fan also reduces energy consumption. 


Another significant advantage of an oil heater is its portability. It comes in various sizes and feature castor wheels so the unit can be relocated from room to room. 


Perfect for: Long-term heating of living spaces where the in-built thermostat can be set to establish a consistent temperature. Their silent operation makes them ideal for bedrooms or office spaces.


Mitch's energy efficiency rating: 4/5* 

Electric fireplace Flame effect edited.png


What: A fireplace that uses electricity, instead of timber. The unit operates via a fan, drawing in cool air that is then heated by an electric heating element. After the air is heated, it is blown back out into the room. 


Why: Unlike traditional wood fireplaces, there are no safety concerns relating to embers or smoke. Electric fireplaces feature a heat-free flame effect that creates a wonderful ambience in any room. There is no requirement for a flue, meaning they can be simply installed and retrofitted into an existing brick fireplace. 


Perfect for: Short-term heating of lounges and medium to large-sized rooms.


Mitch's energy efficiency rating: 3/5* 

Gas heater  Gas heater edited.png


What: Gas heaters operate on either natural gas or LPG that can provide convective or radiant heat. When the burners fuelled by gas are lit, the heat travels into a heat exchanger. This action pushes the air through and raises it to the desired temperature before being emitted into the room.


Why: Quick to heat up. Can generate enough heat to warm your entire home.


Perfect for: Long-term heating of larger spaces and open plan living where other heating options are inadequate.


Mitch's energy efficiency rating: 5/5*

Wood fired heater Wood Fire.png


What: A wood heater works by allowing a fire to burn wood inside an enclosed compartment surrounded by fireproof materials. A wood heater consists of a stove, flue, damper and baffle. Each part plays an essential role for the wood-burning stove to function effectively.


Why: Wood heating is a cost-effective way to heat your entire home. These heaters create a wonderful ambience in your home and have a small greenhouse footprint.


Perfect for: Long-term heating of large, medium, and small homes. Also suitable for large rooms and open plan living.


Mitch's energy efficiency rating: 4/5* 

Reverse cycle air conditionersAIRCON.png


What: Reverse cycle air conditioning systems are made up of three major parts: an outdoor condenser unit, an indoor evaporator unit, a reversing valve and the control circuitry, which includes the thermostat. The refrigerant is compressed in the outdoor unit, and this creates heat. This heat is released into the atmosphere by means of the outdoor coil and fan. The compressed refrigerant is then pumped to the indoor unit and expands. The expansion process absorbs heat, and as it does so, the refrigerant passes through the indoor coil. Air pushed through the indoor coil by a fan is cooled and released into the room.


When a space is being heated, the process is reversed. The heat release occurs in the indoor unit, and the cooling occurs in the outdoor unit.


Why: The running costs of heating a room through a reverse cycle air conditioner are significantly lower than the costs of using an electric heater. A reverse cycle air conditioner in heat mode uses approximately one-third of the energy used by a plugin electric heater. It is also one of the most energy-efficient heating options. 


Perfect for: Long-term heating of large rooms, open plan living and bedrooms.


Mitch's energy efficiency rating: 5/5* 


*All energy efficiency ratings provided above are for general informational purposes only and are subject to various factors. These include the size of the room, whether a thermostat is enabled, and if the product is used in conjunction with other energy-saving measures. 

1 Reply
Established Contributor

Great advice @MitchellMc.

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