Can I use Homebuilder to heat my home?

JUNE 22, 2020

The federal government’s new $25,000 HomeBuilder grant will make it easier for Australian homeowners to include energy-efficient features in new homes or renovations, which could save them thousands of dollars on their power bills this winter. 

While the expense of cost-saving features such as rooftop solar systems, back-up batteries and double glazing are prohibitive for many builders and renovators, some industry experts suggest the additional $25,000 provided by the new grant means some energy-saving additions can be included in a new build or renovation.

With these energy-saving measures in place, when the cold weather of winter starts to set in, you might be able to consider major heating systems such as ducted air-conditioning, underfloor heating, or a fireplace.

Underfloor heating is an effective way of warming your home. The heat radiates evenly from the floor and slowly rises. It may not be appropriate for every room but can be ideal for say the bathroom and keeping feet warm when you step out of the bath or shower.

In terms of the cost of installing underfloor heating, tradie website says it can cost anywhere from $33 per square metre to install an electric underfloor heating system or $68 per square metre for a hydronic in-slab underfloor heating system[i]

Ducted heating, also knowns as “central heating”, is an efficient way of keeping your house warm in winter. Besides being unobtrusive, central heating can let you control what rooms you want to heat. This is known as ‘zoning’, and it allows you to heat different sections of your property with different temperatures. Ducted heating is delivered by either a gas-driven heater or a reverse cycle air conditioning system.

Central heating is typically installed when a new home is built, but retrofitting is also feasible and an increasingly popular option – although you may not get much change from $10,000 depending on the system you choose[ii]

Aside from warmth, a fireplace delivers a plethora of sights, sounds and smells. However, not every home has a fireplace or every owner, the capacity to add one.. That said, you can buy ethanol-burning fireplaces from $3,000. The beauty with an ethanol fireplace is they don’t give off dangerous fumes such as carbon monoxide when they burn. Therefore, this warming alternative does not require a vent or flue, a gas or electrical connection.

For more tips on warming up your home this winter, contact your local Raine & Horne agent.