And as if by magic, the summer that never was brings us ever closer to Winter…

Its that time of year again, when beautiful clear autumn days roll into crisp long nights and chilly mornings, so if you haven’t done so already, its probably time to address your insulation and heating concerns for the cold months ahead.

With insulation, the issues you have in summer are reflected in your home during winter:

  • badly sealed windows
  • non-insulated walls and ceilings
  • and a lack of north facing windows

will mean your house is too hot in summer and too cold in winter.

If you want to keep warm this winter, firstly address these issues and then consider a heating option for your home. For most Sydney homes heating means choosing between an open fire, a slow combusting wood heater, or a gas heater.

Open fires – Add an element of romance to your home. After all, who doesn’t like laying in front of an open wood fire? The problem with open fires, is that they require a lot of wood, which at roughly $100 a tonne can be expensive. They’re also not kid friendly and very inefficient at heating large spaces – most of the heat from an open fire goes up the chimney. With this in mind it might be best to leave the open fires in the alps or on the farm.

Slow burning combustion fires – Burn at a far slower rate than open wood fires and retain at least half the heat they put out. Again, wood can be costly unless you have cheap or free access to it. You’ll also require somewhere dry to store it. Having said that, a small combustion stove can heat heat a large – well insulated room, so is a great addition to your home.

Natural gas heaters – Are perfect for a quick burst of heat in the mornings – before school – or if the weather is so foul you don’t feel like making another trip to the wood pile. With mains gas in most Sydney homes, gas heaters are an easy fall back option and great for smaller homes.

In terms of efficiency the three heating options rank:

  1. Well – Gas heaters – lose approximately 20% of their heating output
  2. Ok – Slow burning combustion heaters – lose 50% of their heating output
  3. Terribly – Open wood fires – lose 80% of their heating output
On the greener side of heating, gas isn’t cheap and is not a renewable energy source, whereas sustainably logged wood is a renewable energy.
Personally, I like to use both – the gas heater for quickly heating an area of the home for a short amount of time and the combustion stove for nights in front of the fire with family and friends.

As always, if you require help sourcing a heating option or discussing a rennovation to accomodate a fireplace, contact JSI for a free estimate.

Just Screw It recognises and encourages employing sustainable design and building practices to have a positive effect on the local and global environments.