While every Australian is aware of our hot summers, how we keep our homes warm during the cooler months is often an afterthought until winter hits, unlike residents in frigid and high priced cities like Chicago in the U.S. While larger homes usually have all the heating and cooling requirements sorted, for smaller houses getting an effective and affordable heating solution may be a little tough.

On the plus side having a small house puts you at an advantage when it comes to heating options. That’s because there are several options available these days. While larger residences must stick to the conventional systems of air conditioning, smaller houses can explore the latest technology at lower prices.

Here are some options that you can consider for heating up your cosy little home during the winters.


The design of your house itself plays a very important role in its heating or cooling capacity. The building materials used, the orientation of the house, the ventilation, everything contributes in some way to the heating and cooling effects.

Materials that absorb and store heat for longer periods, that is, materials with high thermal mass, are better for homes that require heating. Such materials include concrete bricks or tiles, which are of high density and can store passive heat effectively. These materials have lower conductivity and do not allow passive heating to escape soon. Not affected by extreme weather conditions, steel frames are a popular choice but require additional insulation. 

Reverse cycle systems

Reverse cycle air conditioning systems are equally effective in cooling and heating small spaces. A reverse cycle system absorbs heat from the outside air and releases the heat into your home. This heat is absorbed and stored by a refrigerant that passes through an external coil exposed to the outside air. A compressor sends the heated refrigerant inside, and a fan allows the heat to be distributed inside.

These systems are good for moderately cold places, but in extremely cold climates, such systems may not be able to derive enough heat to keep you warm.

Ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are certainly not the first thing that would come to your mind as a heating solution. But these can also be used quite effectively to heat up your little house. Reversing the effect of the ceiling fan can be a great way to heat a space. The idea is to push back down the heated air that has risen up. This can be very effecting in maintaining a constant flow of warm air in the room for the comfort of everyone.

In fact, using ceiling fans with any of the other heating systems can bring down electricity consumption by nearly 10%.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are one of the most popular and widely used heating options for small houses across Australia. What makes these heaters so popular is their ease of use and the safety they offer.

Electric heaters also produce no fumes and do not add to the pollution outside. You plug the heater into one of your home’s electrical outlets, and it heats up the room within minutes.

There are a wide variety of electric heaters available in the market, from heaters that radiate heat through a resistance coil to blowers that blow air over a heating element. There are even heaters that look exactly like a fireplace but instead use heating elements.

If you can afford to pay the electricity bills and the charges are not too high in your area, this is the best and cheapest option available. There is very little risk of fire involved as there is no open flame, and it is completely eco-friendly. You have to be careful with using an electric heater though as any contact with water can be extremely dangerous. Also, you must ensure that it is placed away from the reach of children, particularly the ones where the heating elements are exposed.

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