Beanies, blankets, and hot water bottles do not make for a cosy, toasty-warm home in winter. But in the wake of the expected electricity rate increases, South African families are worried about the cost of running electric heaters in the coming months. The good news is that finding energy-efficient heaters these days is easy. It’s a given, a priority – like expecting to get foam on your cappuccino.
How to Weigh Your Options for Energy-Efficient Heaters
There are key considerations that need to weigh in on your decision regarding energy-efficient heating options. The following quick list will assist you before you start shopping:
- Family health – whether anyone in the family suffers from bronchial issues or asthma
- Frequency – how regularly you require indoor heating on any given day
- Size – whether your home is open plan with large spaces to heat will matter
- Style – South African homes often have lots of glass, fold-away door systems, and weather-facing fronts to accommodate the view, all of which affect heating efficiency
We, at Hirsch’s, are very excited about the range of energy-efficient heaters we have available for winter. Shop online with us anytime, we have descriptions and stats for all our heaters right there for you and we deliver nationwide.
South Africa will undoubtedly experience plenty of load shedding with the increased draw on the electricity grids in each neighbourhood. Part of your decision needs to take that into account. (It might be prudent to invest in more than one type of heat source so that you cover every contingency.)
Which Type of Heater is the Most Energy-Efficient?
Yep, you guessed – it depends. This is not a one-type-fits-all affair, and we must draw on the mitigating factors above. For example, respiratory issues could be exacerbated if the heater dries out the air too much or emits fumes that could irritate the condition.
For the repertoire of heaters at Hirsch’s, we identified three main types of energy-efficient heaters that can even be used in conjunction with each other. Ready to take a look?
Oil heaters are probably the duchess of all heaters. They are silent, and super energy-efficient as most models have an inbuilt thermostat.
These heaters are a little slower in reaching the temperature setting you select. But once there, they use precious little electricity as the thermostat takes charge, only drawing energy needed to retain the heat.
Completely safe to leave on overnight, even in the baby’s room, this is one of the most popular types of heating for modern homes.
Additionally, oil heaters never dry out the air, making them a recommended choice for the health of your family.
You can spend as little as R 265.98 a month on a seven-fin oil heater – even running it for 3 hours a day for 30 days.
Hirsch’s has many oil heaters, from 7-14 fin models. We love the Defy Oil Filled Radiator Heater. It features:
- 3 heat settings
- 24 hours automatic on/off timer function
- Temperature setting 5~35°C
- Three work types: fast-heating, energy-saving, anti-freeze
- Overheat protection
- Safety tip-over switch built-in
- 4 small 360° rotated wheels for easy moving
- Remote control
The unflued, mobile gas heater is an excellent source of heat. Most require a 9kg gas bottle that fits snugly in the back. Compared to electric heaters, gas heaters produce more and faster heat.
Most have three operating panels, which means you can regulate how much heat you need. In a small area, you may start up using all three panels for fast results but find that you can reduce it to one panel for the time you’re needing warmth in the room.
Gas heaters are a dream during load shedding. It is probably worth getting at least one to keep in the home to use for power outages.
Red alert: There is a naked flame visible when the heater is in use, so watch out for little ones and never leave it running unattended or overnight. Burning gas does leach carbon monoxide into the air, so be aware of ventilation in the area, if small.
Hot Tip for Gas Heaters – Always keep a spare full gas bottle. Murphy’s Law says you’ll run out of gas on the coldest night of the year!
According to Bruce Wilson of Midgas, a 9kg canister of gas lasts around 30 hours. That translates into R 1000 running costs a month were you to run a gas heater, on full, 3 hours a day, for 30 days. Of course, turning the appliance down to operate on just one panel when the space is warmed up will considerably reduce your running costs.
Hirsh’s good-looking Totai Full Body Red Gas Heater features;
- 3 panel – ceramic tiles
- 3 heat settings
- Uses 9kg gas cylinder
- Includes regulator, hose, and ODS (oxygen depletion system)
- Includes regulator and hose
There was a time when energy efficiency and fan heaters could not be strung together in the same sentence! Those days are gone! Today’s modern fan heaters are really fast because they produce heat instantly. The fan circulates the heat in the room and soon everyone feels satisfyingly warm.
It goes without saying though that it is a strong draw on electricity and if you were to run your fan heater all day you would go through a fair amount of electricity. The idea is to take the chill out of the room quickly.
Ths variety of room heating does, unfortunately, dry out the air. The problem can be solved if you use a humidifier in tandem with it. Some have noisy fans, which can irritate but modern appliances run relatively quietly.
We heartily recommend the Russel Hobbs EcoFan Heater. It features;
- 3 heat settings
- Variable settings
- 2000 watts
- 1.5m power cord
- 1-year warranty
Your fan heater, even just a 1 000W appliance, should cost no more than R189.98 for 3 hours a day for 30 days.
Long Story Short for Energy-Efficient Heaters
The long and short of it is that the more wattage your heating appliance uses, the higher your electricity bill is going to be. Running your heater on full for hours on end is not the best practice even with energy-efficient technology in play.
Warm up rooms you are using by all means, but encourage your family to use those beanies, blankets, and hot water bottles as well, so that warmth is never totally dependent on your heaters!
It is a matter of considering your family’s needs, the initial purchase outlay, and then running an energy-efficient heater – or two – in your particular home. What you can be sure of is that staying warm this winter does not have to blow your budget.
We look forward to assisting you with options and choices here at Hirsch’s – browse our fan, oil and gas heaters for sale now. Stay warm, stay healthy.