Gas ducted heating is one of Melbourne’s favourite ways to heat the home on cold winter days and nights. Ducted heating can warm up your home almost instantly and you don’t need to worry about bulky indoor units. Instead, warmth is evenly distributed via vents or grilles on the ceiling or floor.
Ducted gas systems are also a central heating option, which means you can warm your entire home at once or in carefully planned zones. Gas heating is also known for its superior thermal comfort, providing a heat that doesn’t leave you feeling dried out.
There are many reasons to love ducted gas heating in Melbourne, but we understand that you might be concerned about the effectiveness and efficiency of your system.
To get the most out of your home heating unit, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about using your ducted gas heating efficiently.
Before you optimise your ducted gas heating, it might help to understand exactly how your system works.
Gas ducted heaters are central heating systems that distribute warmth throughout your property using a series of flexible insulated ducts. These ducts are usually installed above the ceiling but can also be placed below the floor.
When you turn on your heater, cool air is drawn in and heated using a gas furnace. This warmed air is then sent through a network of ducts and out the vents or grilles located on the ceiling or floor.
As a sealed air system, your gas ducted heater will continually redistribute the same air within your property to achieve and maintain the target temperature.
There are many opportunities to optimise your gas ducted system at every step of the process, from ductwork to furnace efficiency to system design.
Every heating and cooling system has a baseline level of efficiency and effectiveness. An energy-hungry portable electric heater will use a lot of power for pretty underwhelming results. Meanwhile, a reverse cycle air conditioner with solar panels will provide the gold standard for energy efficiency.
Ducted gas heating systems can provide excellent heating capacity and efficiency, especially compared to an electric heater. No two brands, makes or models are exactly the same, but what all gas ducted heaters have in common is that they don’t rely on the outdoor temperature to warm your home. They can warm up your home quickly and recirculate the same air, which means less hard work for your system.
Gas ducted heating systems must also meet minimum energy efficiency requirements, and all units must display their gas energy rating. The higher the energy rating of your system, the more efficient and effective it is, with 6-star systems capable of wiping 30% off your gas bills.
Several other factors can also affect your heating costs and overall performance. For example, while most systems run off natural gas, you may need to utilise the more expensive LPG option. Similarly, natural gas systems will vary in price depending on the gas deals offered by your energy retailer.
Your gas ducted system will have many features that help you get the most out of your central heating unit. If your system doesn’t have these features, you may be able to add them on. Alternatively, you may want to consider them when replacing and upgrading your system.
A standard thermostat will have one function – allowing you to set the preferred temperature of your home. Programmable thermostats – or smart thermostats – take this concept and elevate it much further.
Programmable thermostats generally come with built-in timers that allow you to set when your system turns on and off. You can set it to switch on five minutes before you get home from work and switch off half an hour before you go to bed.
With timers, you don’t need to remember to turn your system on or off. This saves you money and energy in many ways. Firstly, you aren’t accidentally leaving your system on when no one is using it. Secondly, you can preemptively heat your home before you arrive, meaning you don’t feel the urge to blast the heater when you walk in the door.
Smart thermostats often come with a range of other features too, including diagnostic systems that help keep your ducted heater in great condition and alert you when there’s an issue.
Wi-Fi controls can be seen as an extension of smart thermostats. They may seem like a mere convenience or a luxury, but wi-fi controls give you complete control and can greatly benefit your ducted heating system.
Wi-Fi systems allow you to turn your heater on or off wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection. This added functionality can result in premium comfort as well as lowered energy costs and reduced gas consumption.
Forget to turn off the heater when you left the house? Want to switch on the system a few minutes before you get home? Wi-Fi controls have you covered.
Being able to heat your entire home is great, but you’re not always using your whole home. That’s where zoning comes in.
Zoning allows you to divide your home into different areas that can be heated independently. This is a great way to lower your heating bills and reduce gas consumption. Zoning allows your system to work smarter, not harder, which will also reduce wear and tear and improve your heater’s lifespan.
Whether there’s a room in your home that you never use, or you just want to heat the bedrooms and not the living areas, zoning your heat output is ideal. A zoned system can also allow you to heat only one room when all the others are empty.
The MyAir Zoning System allows you to set up 10 different zones and separate airflow settings for each room.
As we explained above, higher energy ratings should always translate to a better and more affordable system.
If you’re looking to upgrade and replace your gas ducted heater, a higher energy rating could increase the thermal efficiency of your heat exchanger to as much as 95 per cent! More efficient heaters are designed to utilise heat energy in the exhaust gases. This energy is usually lost in the atmosphere, but an energy-efficient furnace can capture the vast majority of it, giving you more value for money and excellent heating results.
This is just one example of how a higher energy rating translates to improved energy efficiency and thermal performance.
If your ductwork is compatible, you can easily add air conditioning to your ducted gas heating system. This is usually known as add-on air conditioning or add-on cooling.
Opting for add-on cooling won’t increase the efficiency or effectiveness of your gas system, but it is incredibly convenient. It allows you to utilise your existing ductwork for refrigerated cooling as well as gas heating.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of installing new ductwork, enquire about add-on cooling today. Whether you have ducted heating in Dandenong or gas ducted heating in Templestowe, add-on air conditioning can save you time and money.
Outside the features of your system, there are many other steps you can take to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your gas ducted heating.
We’ve outlined 8 strategies below!
Your windows are a major entry and exit point for heat. This is especially the case if you have single glazed windows, but even double glazed windows cannot contain heat on their own.
In winter, we recommend throwing open your curtains during the day. Even on a cold winter day, the afternoon sun can warm up your home. This gives your heater a head-start when you eventually turn it on. The warmer your home already is, the less work your heating needs to do.
Ensure your curtains and drapes are closed when the sun goes down and your heater is switched on. This will allow you to retain as much heat as possible.
So many homes are poorly sealed and insulated, which will automatically make your heating work harder. An unsealed home allows cold air to enter, and it gives warm air the perfect escape route!
When it comes to sealing your home, look for gaps between your flooring and the bottom of the wall, as well as poorly sealed windows and doors. You can also check the insulation in your walls, floor, and ceiling and make changes if your home is poorly insulated.
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s worth the reminder. If you’re going out for the day or you don’t feel like you need the heater, remember to turn it off. If only one person is home and they’re using a single room, utilise zoning technology if you have it. If you’re the forgetful type, programmable timers or smart wi-fi controls could be a good investment for you.
Every minute your gas ducted heater is being unnecessarily used is another minute of wasted money, wasted energy consumption, and needless wear and tear.
The ideal temperature for your gas ducted heater is between 17°C to 20°C. Don’t fall into the trap of setting your heater higher than this! It won’t be needed in a well-insulated and well-sealed home, and every degree you go up adds about 10% to your heating bill.
People often fall into the trap of setting the heater higher when they first get home from work. Doing this won’t really heat your home any faster. It will just put added stress on your system and your bank account while producing extra emissions and creating an unnecessarily high temperature.
Heating and cooling systems work best when they’re clean, and ducted gas systems are no different.
You can clean or replace the filters in your grilles and vents yourself if you’re confident enough to do it. All you need to do is take out the filters, brush or wash them, leave them to dry, and put them back in.
You can also clean your heating ducts yourself, and professional duct cleaning services are available if necessary.
If you don’t have any other issues, we recommend a ducted heating service every 2-3 years. A professional service technician will come to your property and complete preventative maintenance to keep your heater operating at its best. Heater servicing will also increase the lifespan of your system.
If you experience issues in between your scheduled service interval, invest in ducted heating repairs to get to the bottom of your issue and resolve it fast.
In some cases, replacing your ducted gas system may be the best course of action. If your system is older or experiences frequent issues, replacing it can solve these issues while giving you a much-needed performance and efficiency boost.
Replacing your system will usually just involve replacing the outdoor unit, but in some cases, your ductwork may also require attention. Research shows that older systems can lose a massive 58% of their heat through ductwork. In cases like this, work might need to be done to insulate or overhaul your ducts.
When it comes to ducted heating installations, a professional installer can guide you in selecting the best system for your needs.
This is another tip for those who are installing a new system or replacing their existing one. Ensuring your ducted system is the right size will save you money, reduce your energy consumption, and improve your heating performance.
Undersized systems will have to work extremely hard to heat your home but being too small isn’t the only issue. Systems can end up oversized because the installer assumes your home is not energy efficient. However, newer homes must meet minimum energy requirements, so if you are building a new home, you only need a system that’s large enough, not extra-large!
Working with a trusted installer is the key to ensuring your new or replacement system is correctly sized. If you need gas ducted heating in Ringwood, Box Hill, or the surrounding areas, Australian Climate Systems can help you!
Gas ducted systems can offer premium comfort and cost-effective, energy-efficient heating. However, there are also many ways you can improve performance and efficiency, whether that’s investing in the right kind of system, using your heater thoughtfully, or maintaining a regular service schedule.
With the tips and information above, you can take steps to get even more from your ducted gas heater. If you need professional ducted heating services, including installation, servicing, maintenance, and repairs, the team at Australian Climate Systems is here for you. Whether you need ducted heating in Doncaster, Blackburn, or beyond, we can provide assistance backed by 25+ years of experience.
If you want professional advice to improve your ducted heating or you’re looking to upgrade your system, contact our team today.