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In wall heater with timber and stool 
Ward off winter chills with home heating solutions to help keep you snug.

That warm feeling

There’s a special contentment that comes from being cocooned in a warm home during the colder months. Beyond layering your winter woollies, the best way to beat the chill is with a heater. But with so many options available, how do you choose? We’re sharing expert advice.

Consider the space you need to heat

“Think about the size and layout of the area you want to heat and whether a radiant or convection heating method is preferable,” says Bunnings home heating buyer John Campbell. “Convection heaters circulate heated air throughout the room, which is beneficial when heating a larger area, whereas radiant heaters generate a more direct heat. As they don’t directly heat the air, radiant models often take more time than convection heaters to warm a room,” he explains.

Also consider running costs, energy efficiency and fixed versus portable, as well as style preferences.

The benefits of an electric fireplace

If you love a wood fire but prefer the convenience of simply clicking a button, an electric fireplace might be for you. “Electric fireplaces utilise electricity rather than timber as the fuel source. They draw in cool air which is heated via an electric heating element, before a fan pushes out the hot air,” explains Daniel Kitchen of Arlec.

Added extras include smart controls (for scheduling via a smartphone) and heat-free flame effects. Unlike with a genuine wood fireplace, there are no health and safety issues relating to smoke and no ashes to clear. Plus, without the need for a flue, they’re simple to install and retrofit.

What to look for in an air conditioner

Split system reverse-cycle air conditioners are among the most efficient ways of heating your home and are suitable for single rooms through to large areas. Compare energy star ratings and, for maximum efficiency, make sure you get the right size for the space.

“Most models can also link to a smart device, allowing you to remotely set temperature and schedules to ensure rooms are warm before you get out of bed or arrive home,” says Daniel. Units must be put in by a licensed installer, which we can organise for you. (Speak to our Special Orders Desk.)

Living room with split system 

Oil versus fan heaters

Pro tip: “When choosing an electric heater, always look at wattage to match the heat output to the size of the room,” says John.

What about panel heaters?

Sleek and quiet, panel heaters can be a great space-savvy solution. “They work using convection heating,” Daniel says. “Air is drawn over the element and rises up through the unit and out the top through vents.” Features to look for include multiple power settings and a thermostat to maintain your desired room temperature without wasting energy. (Ask about the Panel and Convection Heater installation service at the Bunnings Special Orders Desk.)

Pro tip: To boost the effectiveness of heaters, ensure rooms are well-insulated, draughts are blocked and ceiling fans are switched to winter mode.

In wall heater in living room 

The wonder of woodfire heaters

With its atmospheric crackling flames, a woodfire heater can be a cosy focal point. Quinn Stirling of Scandia suggests first looking at the size of the firebox (bigger being better for large spaces). “In terms of size, generally the larger the firebox, the more area it will heat, for longer,” says Quinn.

“The next decision is whether to opt for a convection or radiant appliance,” adds Quinn. “Convection wood fires use a fan to provide a very consistent, controllable ambient warmth. By contrast, on a radiant appliance, it’s the outer skin of the firebox that radiates heat to warm nearby objects and people, which can be preferable if you want to ‘feel’ the fire, while watching the flames.” 

Scandia fireplace in room with timber in timber holder

Keep in mind:

  • Any hardwired electrical work must be carried out by a licensed tradie.
  • Woodfire heaters should be installed by a licensed professional to manufacturer’s specifications and complying with local council regulations.
  • Only burn dry, well-seasoned and chemically untreated wood (not painted, stained or treated with preservative), and do not burn garbage or plastic.
  • Supervise children and pets around fires and heaters at all times.

Now that you’ve got a better idea of the system you’re after…

We’ve got a heater to suit every budget – browse our wide range of indoor heaters today.

 

Some products are not available at all Bunnings stores, but may be ordered.

Photo Credit: Scandia and Arlec.

Some photographs feature products from suppliers other than Bunnings.

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.