Well there's $5,000 saved

We've just saved $5,000 by deciding not to buy ducted heating for our house. Why were we thinking ducted heating? Well it's funny how the mind works, you end up on a path a long way from where you started. I'll step through it.

The house stays pretty cool in Summer, but it's pretty cold in Winter, so we were thinking heating. I've lived in far too many shitty rentals with draughts, no insulation and the only heating option being expensive, inefficient electric. London spoilt us for never being cold when at home.

So I started looking at gas heaters, the unflued portable kind, which come in around or under $1,000. Choice has a review of them and points out that they release CO and NOx, as well as water vapour, and the emissions can be bad for asthmatics (like Holly).

So I stepped up my thinking to a flued gas heater, to go in the fireplace in the lounge room. I didn't want one of these gas fire things that have the look of a real fire but don't actually do much int he way of heat. I want real heat, so I was looking at the nice fan-forced heaters. These start around $3,000 and go all the way up.

Now my parents have a brilliant ducted gas heating system in their house. It's lovely in every room in Winter. Prices for a small house like ours are apparently from $5,000, which was less than double what we were prepared to pay for the flued heating. You see how your mind steps up a notch without realising?

Anyway yesterday the quote came in for the ducted heating. $6270 including GST for a five-star efficient ducted system. We've ended up a long way from the grand or so I was originally thinking of. It forced something of a reality check.

If we spend a grand on a heater (actually should be a bit less) we can spend the rest on double glazing and upgrading our roof insulation. This has major additional benefits of Summer insulation and keeping out aircraft noise. To be completely serious, you only really need heating in a Sydney house for a month or two of the year. Nice to have for perhaps another month. Spending all that money for something used for a quarter of the year isn't sensible.

It's been an interesting journey, and has taught me that when you're looking at things you need to remember where you started. Go back to it and compare with the gold-plated option you're now contemplating.