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REVIEW of Money 43
Summer and Winter Savings
ways to stay cool or warm without blowing the budget

We often talk about home comforts, and these are achieved by more than just the furniture. Retaining a pleasant temperature within buildings is relaxing and necessary; but it can be expensive. For most, I imagine that 20°C would be suitable anytime; so when it drops in winter and rises in summer, this is when heaters and coolers come into play. Pollution aside, some like solid-fuel fires to take the chill off, and they add an attractive visual bonus; but they aren't that efficient, with much of the heat going up the chimney; plus, they tend to be messy. Electric or gas heaters with simulated blazing logs and coal are better, especially those with booster fans; however, they can still be quite costly to run.

Arguably the most economical would have to be reverse-cycle air-conditioners. These provide heat in winter and cooling air in summer. The split-level types have the main drive outside the building and a distribution fan usually high on a strategic wall inside. In the correct position, air can be directed wherever it is needed and is almost instant; and when it comes to heating, you don't have to sit there freezing while the radiators are warming up.

There are other suggestions in the full article to help make heating and cooling more efficient while keeping costs down. Take a look - there may be something there you don't already know about.

To read the complete article or download the PDF of Money 43 click here

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