What Type Of Heating Should I Get For My Melbourne Home?

Choosing the right heating system for your home can be tricky considering the number of options available. Besides, you’d want to choose a system that meets your unique needs, and one that will perform even in Melbourne’s erratic weather. 

Here we’ve rounded up 3 heating options and what you need to consider before making your decision. Let’s start by considering the space you’re working with.

How Big Is The Area You Need Heating For?

Think about the area you want heated up. Is it a room or the entire house? Would you like different temperatures in different rooms? Depending on your answers you may prefer a ducted system or a space/ room heating system. 

Central/ Ducted heating

Central aka ducted heating refers to a single system that heats the entire house. It can be a very efficient system and if the system allows for zoning capability, you would be able to control the heating in certain areas of your home

Room/ Space Heating

Alternatively, room or space heating provides heating just for a room or a specific space. While space heating is cheaper than ducted heating, the system you choose ultimately depends on the size of the space you’re working with. 

Generally speaking, the larger the area, the larger the system you would need. Getting a heating system that is inadequate for your space would end up causing you more money in the long run to compensate for the inefficiency

For example, families looking to heat the whole house may find that a bigger, ducted system works best for them. However, individuals who occupy the same room most of the time may prefer smaller space heating options like the ones below.

Room Or Space Heating (for individual rooms)

Reverse Cycle Unit

Reverse cycle air conditioning is hugely popular amongst Victorian homes – about 60% of households choose to use it because of its efficiency. Reverse cycle air conditioners use refrigeration cycles as a way of heating and cooling a space. 

Reverse cycle air conditioners are suitable for countries with different seasons as you would only need one system to keep you warm or cool throughout the year. Having just one system to rely on can simplify the maintenance process for you. 

Gas Space Heating

Gas heaters work by using natural gas to heat indoor or outdoor spaces. They’re one of the most popular methods of heating in Australia because of their efficiency. 

In a nutshell, gas heaters burn the natural gas which produces heat. This heat is then distributed into the room by using a fan. These types of heaters require a gas connection to work.

Electric Portable Heater
Electric heaters work best in a small enclosed space, such as a bedroom or bathroom. They are typically inexpensive to purchase but depending on how you use them, could cost you quite a bit in the long run.

This is because electric heaters are not the most efficient form of heating but the plus side is that it is reliable and environmentally friendly.

Ducted Or Central Heating (for the whole house)

Ducted Gas
Ducted gas heating systems work by drawing air from within the home, passing it through a gas furnace to heat and blowing it out through ducts located throughout the house. In some cases, you can control the temperature in different zones. 

Ducted gas heating systems can heat your home quickly but the drawback is higher upfront and maintenance costs compared to gas space heaters. Also, ducted gas heaters can only provide heating solutions. You will need to rely on another system if you need cooling solutions during the hotter months. 

Ducted Reverse Cycle
Ducted reverse cycle air conditioners provide both heating and cooling solutions for the entire home from a single system. If the system allows for zoning, you can control the temperature in different zones or areas in the house

Ducted reverse cycle air conditioning systems work great in countries that have different seasons as you only need to rely on one system to keep comfortable all year round. With only one system to look after, it would make it easier and cheaper for you to maintain.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Heating System

Cost (upfront and running)
Gas and electric heaters typically have cheaper installation costs, depending on the size or capacity. However, the running costs of electrical heaters can add up by quite a bit over time. 

Reverse cycle air conditioning has the most expensive upfront cost but you could save more in the long run as running costs are cheaper and it offers both heating and cooling solutions. 

You’ll need to factor in Melbourne’s extreme weather conditions when deciding what heating system to go with. 

In general, gas heating systems work best for making sure that you’re warm during chilly winters and they take less time to heat up the space as well. Electric or reverse cycle systems work better in moderate temperatures.

If you’re comparing between central heating systems and individual units, central heating systems are more efficient. 

Gas heaters and reverse cycle air conditioners are more energy efficient compared to the conventional electrical heater. They generate 65% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional electrical heaters

Below we’ve put together a table to help you compare the different factors across the different systems. 

Individual Units – Gas, Electric, Reverse Cycle

Gas Electric Reverse Cycle
Upfront cost $500 to $1400 As cheap as $30 or more than $400 $1000 – $5000
Running cost $0.64 – $0.74/hour $0.36-$0.43/hour Heating: $0.13-$0.36/hour

Cooling: $0.25-$0.35/hour

Effectiveness in Melbourne weather Best for extreme winters, such as in Melbourne Works best in areas with mild winters Works best in areas with mild weather
Other benefits
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Easy installation
  • Environmentally friendly option
  • Offers both heating and cooling solutions
  • Relatively low running costs
Other drawbacks
  • Can produce harmful gases
  • Slower heating time
  • Higher energy bill
  • High upfront costs

Ducted Systems – Gas Heating, Reverse Cycle

Gas Reverse Cycle
Upfront cost $2,500 to $5,000 $10,000 to $12,000
Running cost  Heating: ~$1,055/p.a. Heating: ~$1,118.46/p.a.

Cooling: ~$176.36/p.a.

Effectiveness in Melbourne weather Works well during extreme winter months (such as in Melbourne) Works better in areas without extreme temperature (such as in New South Wales and Queensland) 
Other benefits
  • Cheaper than electricity
  • Better heating performance vs. other systems
  • Offers both heating and cooling solutions
  • Versatile 
  • Simple maintenance 
Other drawbacks
  • Produces carbon monoxide, which may require more maintenance
  • Installation costs can be pricey

Choose The Right Heating Solution For You

With so many heating options available, it can be hard to pick one that’s right for you. You’ll need to take into account the size of the space you’re working with and factors like cost, weather and efficiency of each system. 

If you’re still having trouble deciding on the right heating system for you, reach out to us to find out more. Gaschill experts have been in the business for years and have the technical knowledge to point you in the right direction of finding the perfect heating system for your home.