The 17 Things

Heating and cooling are the most energy hungry activities in a home and make up for 40% of the overall household energy use. Effectively managing your household’s heating and cooling can save you a lot of money and increase the comfort level of your home.

No 10: Efficient Heating and Cooling Devices

The 17 Things

What Is It?

Efficient heating and cooling devices are mechanical devices that efficiently use electricity, gas or solar electricity to heat or cool the home.

They include high-rated split system air-conditioners and flued gas heaters, hydronic heating systems, ceiling fans and whole of house fans.

Air-conditioners will have energy rating labels that indicate the model’s energy efficiency through a star rating system and show an estimated annual energy consumption of the appliance.

Flued gas heaters also have a rating system which may also include an emission rating.

How will it help me reduce my running costs and increase my comfort?

Majority of energy use in a home is to heat and cool the property, and to heat the water.

Majority of energy use in a home is to heat and cool the property, and to heat the water.

Heating and cooling are the most energy hungry activities in a home and make up for 40% of the overall household energy use. Effectively managing your household’s heating and cooling can save you a lot of money and increase the comfort level of your home.

Your home may require mechanical devices to heat and cool the home to a comfortable temperature. Newer models with a high star energy rating will cost less to run and if you have the right device for the climate zone for your property, it can help create a comfortable temperature in the rooms.

However, while efficient heating and cooling devices use less energy than other devices on the market, these devices alone cannot provide reduced running costs and increased comfort. A home with Liveability Features™ based on passive design principles, such as No. 3 Orientation, may have less reliance on mechanical devices to heat and cool the room.

Video_Phantom_Load_ghos_remote-(web)t

Phantom load increasing your bills? See our How-to video for more information.

It is also important that like all Liveability Features™, heating and cooling devices in the home are used correctly. Electric and gas devices should be switched off at the plug when not being used. Cooling devices like ceiling fans are most effective when they are directly above you.

What professional should I talk to about this?

The Centre for Liveability Real Estate always recommends you consult further with any relevant specialist design or building consultants or assessors before making any decision regarding your specific property based on the Liveability Property Marketing Features™.

Architects and building designers are skilled in helping you find the right efficient heating and cooling devices for your home, especially if you are adding mechanical devices during the design and planning stage. They include HIA GreenSmart builders and designersMaster Builders Green Living buildersBDA and BDAV (VIC only) building designers.

If you are purchasing a new device, speak with your local retailer and local installer if the device you have chosen requires a professional to correctly and safely install it in your home.

In NSW and Victoria, the Smarter Choice retail program trains retail staff to advise you on the energy and water efficiency of different products, including energy and water devices. Visit a Smarter Choice retailer in your state – NSW, Victoria.

Is there anything I need to know before I meet with them?

Being clear about what you want to achieve is important, as is having a clear understanding of the basics, so you can have confidence they know what they are talking about.

If you are building a new home or renovating, ask to include the 17 Things™ based on passive design principles such as No. 3 OrientationNo. 4 Cross-VentilationNo. 5 ZoningNo. 6 InsulationNo. 7 Density of Building MaterialsNo. 8 Windows and No. 9 Shading or Sun Control. A home with these features has a reduced need for additional mechanical devices to heat and cool the home.

Central heating units such as panel radiators will have to be considered at the design stage.

Central heating units such as panel radiators will have to be considered at the design stage.

You will also need to choose between a space unit and central system. Space units heat or cool one or two rooms at a time while central systems heat or cool all or most of the house from a central energy source. Efficient space units such as gas heaters can be easily added while central systems, such as in-slab hydronic central heating and panel radiators, will have to be considered during the design stage. If you are selecting a new device, choose an appropriately sized device because anything larger than needed is more expensive and will have higher running costs.

What is the price range I can expect?

Prices may be indicated on the brand or retailer’s websites. You could also speak with the retailer and installer direct regarding prices.

The price of efficient heating and cooling devices and their installation depends on each brand and product.

You should check if the device you want to purchase and install is eligible for a government rebate or incentives from your retailer. Check out our list of Current Energy Rebates.

Where can I find more information?

To find the star rating of a particular heating and cooling device, see the Australian Government’s E3 Energy Rating website which allows you to search by brand and product number. The Australian Government’s Your Savings website also provides information on how to read energy labels.

For independent reviews of some of the devices available at retail stores, see CHOICE’s series of guides on heating and cooling options.

Your local council and state or territory government may also have free information available for you to download.

If I already have this feature, is there anything I need to know about using it effectively?

If you have an efficient heating or cooling device, activate zones so that you only heat and cool the occupied rooms in your home and keep them warm in winter and cool in summer. Turning the thermostat down a few degrees and also make a big difference to energy use.

Simple steps such as dressing appropriately for the weather can also help reduce usage of these devices. See the Liveability seasonal checklists for more easy tips.

Ceiling fans work best when placed directly above you.

Ceiling fans work best when placed directly above you.
Image credits to freshome www.freshome.com

You can also shade windows and glass doors to keep your home cool during summer, and use curtains to keep heat in during winter.

Consider where your devices are placed. Ceiling fans are most effective when placed directly above where they are needed, not necessarily in the middle of the room.

Does this work better when combined with any of the other 17 Things™

Efficient heating and cooling devices work better when combined with a number of the 17 Things™. The 17 Things™ features which are based on passive design principles such as No. 3 OrientationNo. 4 Cross-ventilationNo. 9 Shading or Sun Control and the No. 7 Density of Building Materials help create a home that can be naturally heated or cooled. When you use these features correctly it delays the amount of times you need to turn on your mechanical heating and cooling devices.

When efficient heating and cooling devices are turned on then No. 5 Zoning and No 6. Insulation will help further control the heat you keep out or keep in. Of course appropriately closing and opening windows will also help as well.

Will this feature be recognised when I sell my property?

Yes; Liveability Real Estate Specialist sales agents and property managers have been upskilled to identify an additional 17 Things™ on top of a standard property appraisal. So if you have invested in any of the 17 Things™ this means your property will be appraised and marketed with real skill and with the best marketing resources for online and print media.

You can book a free property appraisal with a Liveability Real Estate Specialist any time you’re ready to sell or even if you’re not planning to sell for a couple of years. Each of the 17 Things™ has appraisal benchmarks (relevant to existing and new homes) which have been set by relevant industry partners to make sure we deliver a high standard of property marketing. So your Liveability Real Estate Specialist will work through this appraisal checklist with you as they move through your home. It’s a great chance for you to let them know about all the property features you have invested in.


Any questions?

We’re here to help! Just send us your enquiry.

What Is It?

Efficient heating and cooling devices are mechanical devices that use electricity, gas or solar electricity to heat or cool the home. They include air-conditioners, roof ventilation, ceiling fans and energy recovery ventilation systems.

Air-conditioners will have energy rating labels that indicate the model’s energy efficiency through a star rating system and show an estimated annual energy consumption of the appliance.

How will it help me reduce my running costs and increase my comfort?

Majority of energy use in a home is to heat and cool the property, and to heat the water.

Majority of energy use in a home is to heat and cool the property, and to heat the water.

Heating and cooling are the most energy hungry activities in a home and make up for 40% of the overall household energy use. Effectively managing your household’s heating and cooling can save you a lot of money and increase the comfort level of your home.

Your home may require mechanical devices to heat and cool the home to a comfortable temperature. Newer models with a high star energy rating will cost less to run and if you have the right device for the climate zone for your property, it can help create a comfortable temperature in the rooms.

However, while efficient heating and cooling devices use less energy than other devices on the market, these devices alone cannot provide reduced running costs and increased comfort. A home with Liveability Features™ based on passive design principles, such as No. 3 Orientation, may have less reliance on mechanical devices to heat and cool the room.

Video_Phantom_Load_ghos_remote-(web)t

Phantom load increasing your bills? See our How-to video for more information.

It is also important that like all Liveability Features™, heating and cooling devices in the home are used correctly. Electric and gas devices should be switched off at the plug when not being used. Cooling devices like ceiling fans are most effective when they are directly above you.

What professional should I talk to about this?

The Centre for Liveability Real Estate always recommends you consult further with any relevant specialist design or building consultants or assessors before making any decision regarding your specific property based on the Liveability Property Marketing Features™.

Architects and building designers are skilled in helping you find the right efficient heating and cooling devices for your home, especially if you are adding mechanical devices during the design and planning stage. They include HIA GreenSmart builders and designers, Master Builders Green Living builders and BDA building designers.

If you are purchasing a new device, speak with your local retailer and local installer if the device you have chosen requires a professional to correctly and safely install it in your home.

Is there anything I need to know before I meet with them?

Being clear about what you want to achieve is important, as is having a clear understanding of the basics, so you can have confidence they know what they are talking about.

If you are building a new home or renovating, ask to include the 17 Things™ based on passive design principles such as No. 3 OrientationNo. 4 Cross-VentilationNo. 5 ZoningNo. 6 InsulationNo. 7 Density of Building MaterialsNo. 8 Windows and No. 9 Shading or Sun Control. A home with these features has a reduced need for additional mechanical devices to heat and cool the home.

You will also need to choose between a space unit and central system. Space units heat or cool one or two rooms at a time while central systems heat or cool all or most of the house from a central energy source. Efficient space units such as a split system with a high star rating can be easily added to a home. If you are selecting a new device, choose an appropriately sized device because anything larger than needed is more expensive and will have higher running costs.

What is the price range I can expect?

Prices may be indicated on the brand or retailer’s websites. You could also speak with the retailer and installer direct regarding prices.

The price of efficient heating and cooling devices and their installation depends on each brand and product.

You should check if the device you want to purchase and install is eligible for a government rebate or incentives from your retailer. Check out our list of Current Energy Rebates.

Where can I find more information?

To find the star rating of a particular heating and cooling device, see the Australian Government’s E3 Energy Rating website which allows you to search by brand and product number. The Australian Government’s Your Savings website also provides information on how to read energy labels.

For independent reviews of some of the devices available at retail stores, see CHOICE’s series of guides on heating and cooling options.

COOLmob also has information on designing for the tropics  that include heating and cooling devices and tips on how to use them effectively.

Your local council and state or territory government may also have free information available for you to download, such as the Queensland Government and their tips for smart and sustainable homes. Make sure to look out for resources specific to the tropical climate.

If I already have this feature, is there anything I need to know about using it effectively?

If you have an efficient heating or cooling device, activate zones so that you only heat and cool the occupied rooms in your home and keep them warm in winter and cool in summer. Turning the thermostat down a few degrees and also make a big difference to energy use.

Simple steps such as dressing appropriately for the weather can also help reduce usage of these devices. See the Liveability seasonal checklists for more easy tips.

Ceiling fans work best when placed directly above you.

Ceiling fans work best when placed directly above you.
Image credits to freshome www.freshome.com

You can also shade windows and glass doors to keep your home cool during summer, and use curtains to keep heat in during winter.

Consider where your devices are placed. Ceiling fans are most effective when placed directly above where they are needed, not necessarily in the middle of the room.

Does this work better when combined with any of the other 17 Things™

Efficient heating and cooling devices work better when combined with a number of the 17 Things™. The 17 Things™ features which are based on passive design principles such as No. 3 OrientationNo. 4 Cross-ventilationNo. 9 Shading or Sun Control and the No. 7 Density of Building Materials help create a home that can be naturally heated or cooled. When you use these features correctly it delays the amount of times you need to turn on your mechanical heating and cooling devices.

When efficient heating and cooling devices are turned on then No. 5 Zoning and No 6. Insulation will help further control the heat you keep out or keep in. Of course appropriately closing and opening windows will also help as well.

Will this feature be recognised when I sell my property?

Yes; Liveability Real Estate Specialist sales agents and property managers have been upskilled to identify an additional 17 Things™ on top of a standard property appraisal. So if you have invested in any of the 17 Things™ this means your property will be appraised and marketed with real skill and with the best marketing resources for online and print media.

You can book a free property appraisal with a Liveability Real Estate Specialist any time you’re ready to sell or even if you’re not planning to sell for a couple of years. Each of the 17 Things™ has appraisal benchmarks (relevant to existing and new homes) which have been set by relevant industry partners to make sure we deliver a high standard of property marketing. So your Liveability Real Estate Specialist will work through this appraisal checklist with you as they move through your home. It’s a great chance for you to let them know about all the property features you have invested in.


Any questions?

We’re here to help! Just send us your enquiry.

The 17 Things

The 17 Things

The 17 Things™ are property features that have the potential to reduce running costs and increase comfort if used correctly. You can discuss incorporating these into your renovation with with your architect, building designer or builder. The real estate industry is now identifying these Liveability Property Features™at point of sale or rent through agents that have completed additional training as Liveability Real Estate Specialists.