It can be hard to know where to start without first determining what it is you most want from your heating system, and without considering practical issues such as the climate you live in and the design of your home.

Here are five key considerations for selecting a system for home heating in Melbourne or any one of Australia’s cooler-climate locations.

1.How much of the home you want to heat

Options for whole-house heating include:

  • Gas ducted heating.
  • Ducted reverse-cycle heating.
  • Multi-head reverse cycle split system.
  • Hydronic (water) heating system.

If you only want to heat a part of your home, a split system reverse cycle air conditioner in the living room might suit your needs. Small electric heaters can also be used, but while they are cheap to purchase they have extremely high running costs.

Zoning on your ducted system also allows you to switch off heat to areas that you don’t wish to heat or that are unoccupied, which saves on running costs and reduces wasted energy.

2.Whether you want to cool your home as well

If you also want to be able to cool your home in the summer, there are a few choices:

  • Split system air conditioning – for a single area.
  • Multi-head split system – enables you to cool several rooms if desired.
  • Add-on cooling for a gas ducted system – allows the ducting for your central gas heating to be used for refrigerated cooling as well. In this case it’s best to make a decision on this prior to installation.
  • Evaporative Cooling – A cheaper form of cooling for the whole home.
3.Energy efficiency

There are a number of considerations here:

  • Home Insulation – Have you ensured that your home is correctly insulated? The last think you want is to be spending unnecessary dollars on heating and cooling. Make sure your home is correctly insulated to improve the efficiency of your heating or cooling.
  • Gas ducted heating – this provides one of the most energy efficient forms of heating.
  • Hydronic heating – this type of system is used all over the UK and is a very efficient and comfortable form of heating.
  • Reverse cycle systems – these are the most energy efficient of all electric heating systems, especially those that have an energy-star rating of five or more and which use inverter technology for varying the speed of the compressor.
4.Design of areas to be heated

There are important considerations in matching a heating system to your home. These include room dimensions, ceiling height, home layout and number of occupants, as well as level and quality of insulation and how much natural sunlight comes in through the windows.

According to Choice, a well-insulated room of 20m2 in a moderate climate will require a gas heater with 6MJ to 8MJ input. The requirement will be higher for a room with poor insulation and for cold climates.

5.Greenhouse gas emissions :

If the level of emissions is concerning to you then gas ducted and hydronic heating systems might be your best bet as they produce very low levels. Ducted reverse cycle systems produce medium levels of emissions, although systems with five or six energy stars can be as low as gas or hydronic heaters.

At Staycool Heating and Air Conditioning, we take all the above factors and more into account when helping you decide on home heating, whether that is gas ducted heating in Melbourne or another type of system. Contact us for more information or for a quote for your Melbourne home.