As the season turns, it's time to think about heating - even if you're trying to white-knuckle your way past the Anzac long weekend before flipping the switch.
Whether you're motivated by a desire to save on your energy bill, save the planet, or indulge in the variety of masochism that tries to discover just how cold you can get before schlepping about the house in your doona just doesn't cut it any more, it pays to check out your options ahead of time.
Plus, if you're renting, or living in an apartment, it's nice to have something to come back with when your smug home-owning mates wax lyrical about the wonders of a wood fire (or under floor heating, or self-warming toilet seats).
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So without further adieu, here are our top tips for keeping your home toasty in winter.
Tip one: This one is for the above-mentioned masochists - it doesn't need to be as warm as you think it does.
Health organisations used to recommend a minimum temperature of 21 degrees in the home, but have since lowered it to 18 degrees. Sticking around 18 reduces health risks.
Experts say each degree you reduce your heating by reduces your heating power costs by about 10 per cent, so it also reduces your bill by up to 30 per cent.
Tip two: Stop heat leaks.
Letting the winter sun in - and closing curtains at night to keep it in - is a no brainer, just like blocking up drafts. But there are some sneakier leaks - such as exhaust fans.
If you can, don't heat rooms with an exhaust fan (such as the bathroom). Your precious warmth will escape. Instead, keep the door to that room closed, and block any gaps.
You'll have to gird your loins before entering - but the rest of the house will be that much cozier.
Tip three: A small reverse-cycle air conditioner is probably your cheapest bet if you want to install heating.
However, if you just want to warm a small space - or don't own your home - an electric heater can be a good investment.
Oil column heaters are generally the cheapest to run, and do a good job of taking the edge off. They do need to be left on for a while before they warm a room, however. Using a fan on its lowest setting can help distribute the heat more evenly.
Tip four: Get yourself an electric throw. Seriously. Just do it. They're the perfect thing to cozy up under, surprising warm, and quick to heat up.