Compare your heating options for winter and pay less


South Africa is still, in spite of a few increases to the cost of living (thanks, emerging economy) a much more affordable place to live in than most European, Asian, and North American countries.

Winter Heating King Price

Image Supplied by King Price Insurance

That said, most households experience higher expenses during the colder months as we try to keep warm. And not everyone can afford for their living costs to fluctuate like this.

1 of the biggest costs that creep up is related to heating because when the chill sets in the obvious move is to hike up the heat. And heat costs money. To help you choose the right heating solution that doesn’t drain your budget, we’ve explored a few different options for you, including electric heaters, wood-burning fireplaces, gas heaters, and paraffin heaters.

First, let’s look at electric heaters

Under electric heating options you’ve got bar heaters, wall mounted panel heaters, and oil fin heaters. And that’s just a few. We can’t compare all the electric heaters out there, but we can give you an overview of the pros and cons of going electric when compared to traditional methods, like wood and gas.

All the electric pros and cons:

  • Loadshedding cancels the heat. Immediately.
  • There are lots of options on the market to choose from.
  • Electric heaters are so easy to use (plug and play baby).
  • Small, cheap electric heaters are available.
  • Some types are inefficient, so do your homework.
  • Some electric heaters can be fire hazards, so be careful.
  • Running costs increase as electricity costs increase.

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A quick review of wood-burning fireplaces

Basically, you’ve got 2 types when it comes to wood-burning fireplaces. The 1 type is set into the wall and completely open to the room (closed-combustion) while the other is free-standing with a door to contain the fire.

All the fiery pros and cons:

  • Closed-combustion fireplaces are more efficient.
  • Open fireplaces have poor efficiency (around 25-30%).
  • Closed-combustion fireplaces create an undeniably cosy ambience.
  • Installing either option is expensive if you don’t already have 1.
  • Wood is mostly cheap and accessible.
  • Fireplaces are usable during loadshedding (and provide light).

A gander into gas heating

Let’s be clear, because some people can be a bit nervous about gas… Gas heaters are a safe and clean heater option. Now, let’s look at the pros and cons.

All the gassy pros and cons:

  • There are a number of options on the market for you to choose from.
  • Gas heaters are available in different sizes, making it suitable for bigger and smaller spaces.
  • Portable gas heaters can be cheaper to buy.
  • Gas = instant heat, warming up whole rooms very quickly.
  • They’re usable when loadshedding and other unplanned outages take place.
  • You need proper ventilation to prevent carbon dioxide build-up.
  • Gas prices are set by the Department of Energy and can fluctuate, just like petrol, so it can become expensive.
  • You’ll need to take your gas cylinder to be refilled, which may not always be convenient.

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A perusal of paraffin heaters

This is South Africa. We can’t ignore that paraffin heaters are used throughout our country by a lot of people. So, let’s do our due diligence and have a look at the good, the bad, and the flammable.

All the pros and cons:

  • Paraffin heaters warm rooms up very effectively.
  • They’re very cheap and can cost as little as R200.
  • Like gas, the cost of illuminated paraffin is set by the Department of Energy every month, so the cost fluctuates.
  • Running a paraffin heater is cheap on a month-to-month basis.
  • · There are safety risks associated with paraffin heaters, so place the heater far away from any flammables and have a fire extinguisher or blanket nearby.

Whichever way you choose to heat up your home, this is probably the right moment to mention that during this time of year is when insurance companies see a rise in home insurance claims. It’s an unfortunate risk of heating up your home, regardless of which heater you opt for, so we couldn’t leave you without this head’s up on a new home insurance product that has made it even cheaper for you to cover your homely possessions in case a fire accidentally breaks out in your house.

It’s called ‘fire and fury’ home contents insurance and covers the loss or damage to items in your home as a result of things like fire and storms. What isn’t covered is theft or attempted theft, which is why this product is great for those who are security conscious and want to keep their cover as affordable as possible. Click here for a quote or call 0860 50 50 50 to talk to a consultant.

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