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Australia - Heating and Air-Conditioning
If you are considering a move to Australia then one of the things you must ensure your home has is heating and air conditioning. The weather in summer can be extremely hot and the need for an air conditioned house is a must. The winters are relatively much cooler and the drop in temperature means that the need for heating is necessary. There are however several types of heating and air conditioning systems available and deciding which to choose can sometimes be confusing.
If you are conscious of the environment then choosing a heating system that is powered by solar panels is a great idea. You can also choose to have a zoned system. This means that you can just heat the areas of the home you are using which helps to save energy and money. During the day just heating the living areas and then of an evening change to warm the bedrooms before bed is a very cost effective way to manage your home heating issues.
The type of fuel that powers your heating system is also a consideration. There are several choices including gas heaters, oil fired heater systems, electric heater systems and coal or wood burning systems. You may live in an area that restricts the use of coal or wood burning furnaces due to smoke pollution. Your heating engineer will be able to advise you on any regulations that need to be adhered to prior to installing your new system.
Under floor heating is also a popular choice in Australia. Rooms that have tiled floors benefit greatly from this type of heating as ties are well known for being cold under foot. Kitchens and bathrooms with tiled floors are becoming more popular in the UK, but in Australia it is not uncommon for living rooms and bedrooms to also have this type of flooring. Under floor heating is not intended to warm the whole room, just to make it more comfortable under foot.
The most energy efficient form of heating system is the solid fuel heaters. These however do need some form of flue outlet (chimney) and may not be convenient for everyone. The type of solid fuel burned in them also makes a difference to the type of heat output you can achieve, and they will need to be topped up regularly as the fuel source burns away. If you live outside of the cities you may find fuel such as broken tree branches and twigs near your home which also helps to save money. Solid fuel heaters can be used to heat the water in your home as well as the radiators, making them perfect as an all year round heating system. Moveable heating systems such as LPG gas fires and plug in electric radiators or halogen heaters are ideal for those rooms that are not used very often. Temporary heating units such as these are also ideal for short term heating solutions.
Air conditioning is a must have home accessory no matter where in Australia you live. That said, less than half of the population have one. Expats moving onto Australia from the UK will not be used to the heat and will sometimes, especially in the height of summer find the temperatures unbearable. Air conditioning in this instance is more than welcome. If you are moving to Australia from a country that has a warmer climate then the heat may not be as much of an issue and you may find you can manage without air conditioning.
Choosing the most energy efficient air conditioning unit is the first step to keeping your energy bills low. Air conditioning when operational is well known to use a lot of energy so energy efficient homes tend to stay away from them or use solar power as a way to run them. One way to make them more energy efficient is to ensure you use the correct size for your home. As with heating, your air conditioning unit will break down more frequently if the unit installed is not powerful enough to cool the room it is in. if your room is large, for instance an open plan living area then a larger unit will be required than would be for a bedroom. You must ensure that all doors and windows are closed while the air conditioning unit is in operation, if they are not this means that the motor is working harder to cool the area as it is basically also trying to cool the outside space too.
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