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7 ways to keep warm on a budget this winter


Looking for ways to keep warm without blowing up your heating bill? Look no further.

In partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Award winning, high-performance air conditioners built for tough Aussie climates. Buy an eligible unit before 30 September and claim up to $450 cashback. T&Cs apply.

Lockdown is back for millions of Aussies and this time, we're in the middle of winter. That means more time indoors, more hours heating our homes and, inevitably, much higher bills.

Don't panic just yet though; we've partnered with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to bring you a few tips that can help you stay warm on a budget and keep your winter bills under control.

Check if your fan has a winter setting

I was on a work call recently when a colleague saw my ceiling fan running in the background and asked why I had it on in the middle of winter. I couldn't believe he didn't know about the winter setting and he just outright didn't believe me that it existed.

If you're also shocked by this revelation, go and check your ceiling fan for a little button or switch that swaps the direction of the blades. You want them running clockwise, so the fan pushes warm air that's risen to the ceiling back down into the room. I promise it's more effective than you think it will be.

A close-up photo of the summer/winter switch on a ceiling fan.

Invest in an economical aircon unit

Reverse cycle air conditioners might seem pricey at first, but they're one of the most efficient ways to heat rooms so you'll be reaping the rewards well into the future.

Newer models are typically far more energy efficient than their older counterparts, so they're not only cheaper to run but they do a better job too.

For example, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has claimed multiple awards, including the Finder Award for Best Split System Air Conditioner, won by its Bronte SRK71ZRA-W (7.1kW) model.

Designed for medium to large spaces, the aircon unit has an eco mode which lets it operate at a reduced capacity to lower power consumption while still keeping your home warm. Nice.

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Compare providers

You should be comparing utility providers every year, at a minimum. Yep, I know it's a pain but you could easily save hundreds of dollars just by switching.

For example, Finder compared over 70 electricity plans based on a residential customer consuming 3,900kWh a year on a flat rate tariff. We found they could be quoted anywhere from $242 to $365 a quarter. That's a difference of $492 over the entire year.

What's more, energy providers will sometimes offer sign-up incentives so you might be able to score money off your plan or collect some membership points that can be redeemed elsewhere.

Keep a constant and reasonable temperature

It might be the cause of countless arguments, but the ideal temperature for your home in winter is between roughly 18°C and 21°C. Unsurprisingly, most Aussies go way above this.

Next time you go to crank up the heating, remember even a little increase can make a big difference. According to the Department of Energy, every extra degree you heat your home can add between 5% and 10% to your heating costs.

So how do you get around this? Choose a heater with a thermostat, timer or motion-sensor functions. For example, the Avanti Plus series by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries automatically adjusts the set temperature based on the human activity detected in the room. It'll even switch off if there's nobody in there for a while.
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Embrace thermals

I managed to sneak in a quick trip to Tasmania in between lockdowns this year and stocked up on thermals for the holiday. Now, they're my go-to loungewear.

It might seem excessive to wear thermals around the house but trust me. I never have to layer up, they're super comfy, and we can keep the house at a lower average temperature. What's more, they were actually really cheap to buy in the first place.

Thermals hanging on a washing line.

Look for offers

In addition to energy providers offering discounts to new and switching customers, aircon companies will also run promotions from time to time.

If you are thinking about investing in a new aircon unit, keep your eyes peeled for a decent deal. For example, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is offering cash bonuses of up to $450, depending on which model you buy.

You just have to purchase an eligible single split system, ducted system or multi split system model before 30 September 2021, then submit your claim before 22 October 2021. Easy.

A person holding a fan of Australian notes.

Compare aircon systems

Best Split System Air Conditioners

Best Rated Split System Air Conditioner Brand: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is the clear winner in the split system air conditioning category, with top scores across the board. Consumers said the brand was the best for quietness, performance, features and functions and value for money.

Compare other split system air conditioning units here

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