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BadgerLady

How important is heating?

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So I've been in Sydney for the last 4 years and am making a move to the capital...

 

I'm looking at leasing an old federation house that's in my perfect location and I love the style etc. It's got an air conditioner and a wood burning stove in the living room, but nothing in the bedrooms / kitchen / bathroom. It's a fantastic price.

 

I have travelled to Canberra a number of times during my time here so I know it gets pretty cold. But how miserable is it to live in a largely unheated house? Will my portable electric heaters be enough? I already have a heated waterbed.

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We're in Melbourne and we use a few of the small portable 5-fin oil heaters in bedrooms with no heating and they do a great job. Low on power usage too. The kids haven't complained yet! The bedrooms are quite big too.


From Kilmarnock, now in Melbourne :-)

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We had no heating on our bedrooms in Canberra but we had a substantial doona! We had a wood stove in the living room which was quite effective for heating the bulk of the house but it was a dammed nuisance and if my DH hadnt done the bulk of the work with urban scavenging and chopping I don't think I would have bothered. Our granny flat had reverse cycling air conditioning and the power bills can rack up pretty quickly. The one heater I could not do without was the xltastic in the bathroom!!!! If you get cold just put more layers on!

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I personally wouldn't go for it. Sydney you can get away with no heating but in Canberra you need a good heating source (especially if you were used to central heating in the UK). And I think messing around with a wood burning stove would be a PITA. In my experience, if you're using them to heat most of a house the room the heater is in gets roasting hot, and the bedrooms remain frigid!

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I personally wouldn't go for it. Sydney you can get away with no heating but in Canberra you need a good heating source (especially if you were used to central heating in the UK).

 

Yeah, this is my fear... I haven't needed heating for 4 years and have been fine, but this means I've forgotten what living in cold climates is actually like! I'm even worried about the fact that summer nights can drop to below 12 degrees :-O

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I lived on the south coast and it gets down to low single digits on winter nights. Managed with portable heaters but wouldn't be keen to do it again!

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We're in Melbourne and we use a few of the small portable 5-fin oil heaters in bedrooms with no heating and they do a great job. Low on power usage too.

 

Funnily enough I've been working in Melbourne for the last couple of months. I'm staying in a modern apartment with (unfathomably) single glazing and no curtains. I'm generally comfortable in the evenings using a spare duvet on the sofa and running the (totally inadequate) electric heater in the bedroom until bedtime.

 

It hasn't been *that* cold though...

 

I think I'm a bit traumatised since going to the UK in May and finding myself living in a campervan in 4 degree weather. I wore the same pair of leggings for a week.

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It's got an air conditioner and a wood burning stove in the living room, but nothing in the bedrooms / kitchen / bathroom....

 

Are you sure the air conditioner is not the reverse cycle type which is also used for heating? I'd be surprised if a "cooling only" version was installed in Canberra. If it is a reverse cycle unit, depending on its capacity, the size of the house and the height of the ceilings, it may heat much of the house beyond the living room.

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Are you sure the air conditioner is not the reverse cycle type which is also used for heating? I'd be surprised if a "cooling only" version was installed in Canberra. If it is a reverse cycle unit, depending on its capacity, the size of the house and the height of the ceilings, it may heat much of the house beyond the living room.

 

Yes it is ;-)

 

Living room is in the middle... then you have three bedrooms and dining room coming straight off of it... kitchen, bathroom and laundry are down the other end. Ceilings are very high though and I think it's single glazed (although I've got heavy floor-length curtains to put up).

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I'd say no, it's not just a lack of heating, in an old house insulation is likely not up to much either.

 

A modern apartment with double glazing and good insulation may not be so much of a problem.

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Its a rental. If its terrible over the course of a winter, you can look around for something better.

 

Honestly though, IMHO a single woodburner to heat a house isn't great. Often the heat does not travel to other rooms and it gets stinking hot in the room the burner is in. Then there is the hassle of a) getting the wood for it, keeping it dry and then and carting it in to use and b) cleaning it and c) getting it going each day which when you come home from work on a cold winters evening can take an hour or two to really kick out any decent heat.

 

Personally I love our gas heating. We have a gas fire in the living room and a gas heater in the family. The one in the family room is great as the heat pushes through to the bedrooms off of it and the living room one has the heat flowing into our bedroom, the dining room and hall. So the house is pretty well heated in all rooms other than the bathrooms and we keep the doors to those closed in winter.

 

I also like I can pop the gas heater in when I wake in the morning and the family room and kitchen are lovely to sit in for breakfast and get ready. Same for in the evenings, both heaters have the rooms they are in warm up really fast.

 

We also have thick lined curtains in all the main living rooms and 2 bedrooms and this keeps a lot of heat in also. And draughts out.

 

I've lived in old houses with wood burners in England for many years and I'd not go back to that again if I can help it. Gas or some form of central heating all the way for us now.

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Its a rental. If its terrible over the course of a winter, you can look around for something better.

 

Yeah, I guess you're right :-)

 

I do tend to get very invested in my rental homes. I'm an instinctive nester so I really work on making it perfect - replacing all the furniture etc to suit - and I hate moving! But that doesn't make it the end of the world!

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How big is the property? Our house id guess is around 25 mtrs long and single storey, our wood burner heats it all up pretty well, especially if we keep it going for a few days without it going out.If its not a huge house like ours you may find its not as bad as you think in winter with just the fire on , its also a lot cheaper than heaters to run.

 

Cal x


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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How big is the property? Our house id guess is around 25 mtrs long and single storey, our wood burner heats it all up pretty well, especially if we keep it going for a few days without it going out.If its not a huge house like ours you may find its not as bad as you think in winter with just the fire on , its also a lot cheaper than heaters to run.

 

Cal x

 

LOL, Cal, you don't live in Canberra where -7C is quite normal overnight. I must say our little Nectre stove does a good job at whole house heating really and once it gets going you don't need anything else in the house - I think we might have had a fan heater somewhere but over 32 years I don't think we have used it more than half a dozen times and that was even with the kids growing up. We don't have double glazing and it's a weatherboard house with tin roof, but maybe we are just miserly and hardened huh.

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Try this:

 

 


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Try this:

 

 

 

Have just watched this and was very impressed until I followed up on You tube and found a different video warning that candle heaters, while effective, can be very dangerous.

 

Back to to the drawing board?


103 visa application lodged February 2013. 143 visa application submitted January 2016. Police checks and form 80 submitted February 29th 2016. Visa granted April 4th 2016.

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I would argue that anything would be dangerous is you use it carelessly. I've not seen the videos you talk of, but I'll look into it. I plan on trying this sometime in the future if I'm in a cold house.


189 Visa - Electrician (General) 341111 - Skills Assessment (TRA) mailed 23 July, 2015 - Skills Assessment Positive 23 Sept. 2015 - PTE-A 3 Oct, 2015 (L90; S90; R90; W90) - EOI 5 Oct, 2015 (65 points) - Invitation received 8 Oct, 2015 - Visa Submitted 12 Oct, 2015 - Grant received 16 Dec, 2015

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Looks great! I don't have kids or animals so I'm not too worried about burning the house down :-P

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It depends how big your house is. We have a small 3BR house and our only heating is a woodburner but it does the job and it is a lovely cosy heat. If you are prepared to collect your own firewood you can save a heap of money but then you need a chainsaw and a ute or a trailer - but it's good exercise.

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I think your expectation of heating changes after a few winters in Australia. In the UK I was used to day time temperatures staying negative and then again overnight for weeks. Here in Canberra even with a hard frost the day time temp is rarely less than 14c. I have ducted heating and it does keep the house warm, but it is ineffective and expensive to run. This morning, it was daylight by 6.25am and I'm sat in a t-shirt and tracksuit pants, the heating is off - it'll come back on tonight, until then I'll put a jumper on if I'm cold. With spring just around the corner, I understand (somewhat) why there was never a focus on heating or insulation here.

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LOL, Cal, you don't live in Canberra where -7C is quite normal overnight. I must say our little Nectre stove does a good job at whole house heating really and once it gets going you don't need anything else in the house - I think we might have had a fan heater somewhere but over 32 years I don't think we have used it more than half a dozen times and that was even with the kids growing up. We don't have double glazing and it's a weatherboard house with tin roof, but maybe we are just miserly and hardened huh.

 

LOL, I know we dont get the cold temps Canberra does but i also know you can wander around the house in a bikini when the fire is on and still be too hot,so regardless of area / temp if its not a big house a wood fire will heat it up nicely. To be honest if i lived in a smaller house i think the wood heater may actually make it too hot, hence it should be ok for Canberra winter weather as i said.

 

Cal x


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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I'm Welsh, so not unused to the cold. You will need heating in Canberra.


all my eye and Betty Martin.

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Thanks all!

 

I've just been to see the place. It's even cuter in real life than I'd expected. Very exciting gardens! :jiggy:

 

The rooms are pretty small and cosy, and they've left a smart-looking electric fireplace that you could put into a bedroom or even the kitchen as a supplement. It's pretty miserable in Canberra today (6 degrees and raining) and I actually felt OK in there, with it empty and unheated... by the time I add my rugs etc I'm pretty confident it'll be OK.

 

Kick to the guts was when the letting agent said "By the way we've actually got an application pending with the owner at the moment, and we don't submit new ones unless that gets rejected".

 

I flew in from Melbourne for this, yer git!

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Canberra is colder during the winter than Devonport and we definitely need heating here.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away :smile:

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