Energy efficiency is a priority for most Australian households. In a country that experiences a range of climates, there’s often a considerable expense involved in keeping our homes comfortable. When this is combined with increasing electricity costs, the question of affordability often arises when choosing between different types of heating systems – specifically, gas heaters and split systems.

Understanding Running Costs

Cracking the code between gas heaters and split systems to determine the more affordable option requires an understanding of their running costs. There are two chief components to these costs – the expense of the energy used and the efficiency at which the systems convert this energy into heat.

Gas Heaters: Efficiency on the Flames

Gas heaters are nominally divided into flued and unflued heaters. Flued heaters vent their combustion gases outside, whereas unflued heaters release them within the room. While unflued heaters tend to be more energy efficient, they may lead to indoor air quality concerns.

Flued gas heaters usually come with an energy efficiency rating in star form. The more stars, the less gas is used, thus making it cheaper to run. If your gas heater is rated with 4 or 5 stars, you’re looking at a highly efficient system.

Split Systems: Effective & Efficient

A split system air conditioner provides both heating and cooling from the same unit, offering a double function. In terms of heating, they utilise a process known as ‘the reverse cycle’, making them extremely energy efficient – typically even more so than gas heaters.

The star rating also applies to split systems. A higher star rating means that the split system will convert electrical energy into heat more effectively, reducing running costs. A large number of split systems on the market are currently rated at 5 stars.

Balancing Cost and Climate

Given that both types of systems have their efficient models, a blanket statement on what system is more affordable isn’t applicable. It’s important to balance the running costs against the specific requirements of your domestic situation, the size of your property, and your local climate.


At Just-In Time Electrical, energy efficiency is a top priority. We can offer expert advice on which system will meet your household’s needs and assist with the relevant installation. Contact us for a consultation today.


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