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How much do you use your heater in winter?



The typical Aussie is warming their toes for 4.4 hours a day.

After an autumn that felt more like summer, it's finally starting to feel a little more like winter. But there's a conflict many Australians are facing: whether to go all-out for comfort by cranking up the heater, or try and avoid that given the rising costs of energy.

Australians use their heater for an average of 4.4 hours a day, according to a recent survey of 2,019 adults. However, we're also keen on cutting down that number. 58% of us say we intend to cut our daily heater usage down, and half of us think we'll be able to stop using our heaters altogether.

Here's a state-by-state summary of where we use heating the most. It's no shock that Tasmania tops the charts for the number of hours used; the average maximum temperature in Hobart in July is just 12.3 degrees, while the average minimum is a buttock-freezing -2.8. We didn't get enough responses from the ACT, but if we had I suspect Canberrans would have given Tasmania a run for its heating money. (There are no NT figures either for the same reason.)

As with our plans for when to let our kids have mobile phones, I suspect there's an element of wishful thinking in these numbers. It's all very well to freak out about your power bill and mentally commit to a winter wearing onesies, but when the first truly cold day rolls around, chances are you'll switch on.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on

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